The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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After rapidly losing two and a half stones I was eventually diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in September 2012 (four tumours). Sadly, I have been unable to attend our local cancer support group for the last 3 months due to the devastating side effects of chemotherapy treatment; missing you all folks. This weekend I will be going in for high risk surgery (my medical teams words not mine) at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

So far I have been amazingly lucky to have survived:

SCLC (chemo and radiotherapy in 1993)

NSCLC (surgery in 2007)

Basal cell carcinoma (receiving ongoing surgeries and treatments since 2004)

For this my latest and current oesophageal battle I have underwent chemo through September 2012 and now having follow up surgery 18/2/2013.

Due to my age and past cancer history the surgery will be interestingly different for my medical team. Anaesthetising and operating on someone with hardly any lungs left is quite a challenge. However, after some on/off doubts, they have finally agreed on a speculative off the cuff operation and I am sure my brilliant team will rise to the challenge. I am very confident I will be back to my usual old self after a lengthy period of testing rehab.

After the above stats can I just quote ‘Oor Wullie’ a Scots cartoon character?

“Jings, crivvens, and help ma boab!”

Over the years I have now battled 6 different types of cancer. I am now 73 yrs old and live alone since my beloved wife died of this blasted oesophageal cancer in 2000 after two kids and 35 yrs of marriage. Thankfully I still lead a mainly pain free but slower paced, active, interesting life, and always count my blessings rather than dwell on the negatives. Hopefully my history, experiences, battles won and lessons learned, can help motivate and inspire others.

Thanks to some amazing researchers, practitioners and constantly improving modern drugs and treatments, survival rates are increasing year by year. Cancer is on the run and every day is closer to the time when this deadly disease will be beaten. Watching the latest research updates indicates that cancer supremacy days are definitely numbered. We are in an exciting time of extraordinarily rapid medical advances with survival rates increasing monthly. Today’s newly diagnosed will be part of an anticipated unprecedented surge in survivals. It will be 5 years before present day stats are assessed and published, but the profession expect the results to prove that the pendulum is increasingly swinging in the patients favour, and that cancer will soon no longer be feared as an automatic death sentence.

I will be hospitalised for about a month and regretfully won’t be able to update my support group’s website, as I expect to be in considerable discomfort for some time after surgery and don’t know how I will manage things thereafter.

My 20 yrs of fighting cancer and winning is I believe largely down to my use of regular exercise (Isometrics and Aerobics). Throughout all my adult life I have always used exercise (about 30/40 minutes every other day if pos) to maintain a sense of wellbeing and to control and nip in the bud any signs of depression. Even at my advancing age, it is still continuing to work for me.


As a double lung cancer survivor I found reduced lung capacity to be the most debilitating. Unlikely though it may seem I discovered freestyle aerobics to be the best way to improve breathing. Start very slowly with minimum reps and gradually build up speed and duration to 30/40 mins daily. After a months commitment you, family and friends, will all be amazed by your improvement.


I will be back in a month

All the very best



21 Replies

My current wish? Get over the latest hurdle and back to good health soon Robert. All the Best!



my best wishes to you



My very best wishes Robert.



Your story is an inspiration to all cancer suffers. May god look over you during this testing time.

Best Wishes

Deb x


My wish is for you to get better very soon. Thinking of you Robert, from all your friends at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation x


Dear Robert, your passion and dedication to seek out and share information and also to tirelessly support others is inspirational. We are thinking of you and wish you a speedy recovery from your surgery. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Wishes from all of us in the Glasgow office.


Robert your an inspiration to us all. Like arnie I am sure you`ll be back. Best wishes. thoughts are with you. xx


Hello Robert

I am wishing you a speedy recovery just like so many others. We will miss you over the next few weeks and look forward to reading your next blog. Your generous spirit is deeply appreciated - thank you for your inspiration and kindness.

You are in our thoughts.

Joanna x


I phoned Robert on Saturday,to get details of his hospital arrangements,his surgery commenced this morning (Mon 18th) at 9am, he mentioned this surgery is quite complicated and risky due to his cancer history,apparently the surgeons will open Roberts chest on his left side,to access the tumours,they will deflate his left lung,this only leaves half of a functioning right lung.Robert has accepted that this surgery will be difficult,the surgeons themselves are still yet unsure how the procedure will progess,until they get a close look inside his chest,Robert is undaunted and is so optimistic about a successful outcome.I hope to visit Robert post surgery,when he is up to receiving visitors,I will of course pass on everyones good wishes here at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation- Healthunlocked,staff and postees.


Robert, I just wanted to wish you good luck. Yours is an inspirational story and I hope you continue to beat this horrible disease. Take carex


Sending positive vibes and lots of wishes your way. Keep fighting and I look forward to you being back on line with us very soon. xxx


Hi Robert, I just want to wish you Good Luck. Yours is an inspirational story, I hope you continue to beat this terrible disease.

Take Care,

Georgie xx


Robert, you deserve all the best of luck and positive outcomes after all you have already overcome. I hope to read more of your blogs soon.


Hi Everyone,

I received a post from Roberts son,regarding Roberts surgery,I would like to share it with you,any updates I receive I will pass on to you.

Hi everyone,

My dad has asked me to keep in touch with you and let you know his progress.

All I can say my dad is a fighter! We got a call from the hospital late yesterday afternoon to say there was a few complications in his surgery and in 'their medical opinion' he would make it through the night. My wife and I spent the night with him in intensive care and he is still flighting. Robert is very high risk but he has showed some improvement so we are staying hopefull.

I will keep you all updated.



Hi Everyone,

Its 15 mins after midnight,I was just about to close down my laptop and get some sleep,when a new post arrived,thought I would share it with you.

Hi everyone

Tonight my dad moved from intensive care to high dependency unit. Which is an amazing step, his recovery over the last 48 hours has been unbelievable, for us and hospital staff. There are sill worries over infection however everything at present is stable.

Monday night I was brought in the operating room with him being told he had no hope, they couldn't even move him to the intensive care unit as he was bleeding internally and had issues with his heart, and with no known reason he settled, doctors can't explain it? Everyone in the hospital know him as Lazarus, after all he went through, its a miracle he is where he is.

I have passed your comments to him and he responded well. The doctors have confirmed that they were able to successfully remove the cancer nodules.

Fingers crossed



That is brilliant news, We will be sending positive vibes and prayers to robert and his family.

What a brilliant man. xx


Absolutely brilliant news. What a fighter.


A true inspiration to us all. My very best wishes for a speedy recover


Such inspirational man. My very best wishes to you x


Good Evening Everyone,

I have posted an update on my friend Robert Lowe today in facebook,I thought I would share it with you here also.

To all my facebook friends who are aware of my friend Robert Lowe ,lung cancer survivor of 20 years,who was recently undergoing some serious surgery to remove cancerous tumours from his stomach and throat.This surgery was a total success,his medical team announced that all the tumours had been removed and that Robert was now cancer free.Post op,Robert was poorly,his doctors were fearing the worst,his family were called to his bedside,then against all expectations,Robert makes a remarkable recovery,so much so his doctors have named him Lasarus.Have been in touch with Roberts son last week for an update,unfortunately Robert has relasped again and is back in the Intensive Care Unit on a ventilator.I have just been on the phone to his daughter Hazel today,for an update,Hazel had some sad news to share with me,Robert who is in an induced coma at the moment,has been told that Robert despite being on dyalisis,his liver and kidneys are beginning to fail,it seems he is unlikely to regain consciousness.Hazel had returned home from Pennsylvania USA,last year when Robert was dxd with these new tumours,she left her two young children behind with her husband,sadly having been back to Scotland only a couple of days ,when she received news that her husband had just died from a blood clot in his leg,he was just 46 years old.

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Bill Culbard This is really sad Eric. We just keep praying for Robert.


My prayers are with Robert and his family.


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