Adrian Rogers, 46, has become the first known cancer patient to reveal his terminal diagnosis after his potentially life-saving surgery was cancelled in the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rogers, from Retford in Nottinghamshire, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in July 2018, but after 18 months of chemotherapy, he was told his bowel was in an operable state in February this year.
When COVID-19 hit, doctors decided it was too risky to go ahead with his surgery, which was scheduled for April.
Now, the scaffolding supervisor and his wife, Amanda, 48, have been delivered the devastating news that his cancer is terminal.
He has been told the number of tumours on his bowels and liver has increased from six to 20.
This has affected cancer screenings, tests and treatments, with one in three cancer patients experiencing delays.
Rogers explained how he felt “left high and dry” by the government.
“We were hearing in the news how there were all these private hospitals that were supposed to be set aside for people with other illnesses to have treatment, but they were apparently just empty.
“It is hard to take in that there were places where I could have gone to have treatment, but they just chose to cancel it instead.
“I do believe that more could have been done to make sure I had my operation when it was an option.
“There have still been other illnesses that have needed treating during this time, too – not just COVID.”
The family – which includes Amanda’s three children Laura, 25, and twins Edward and Alexander, 21 – are not giving up hope, though.
They still believe that a drug called Avastin could help to get Rogers’ bowel back into an operable condition again.
The drug costs £600 per fortnight and is administered alongside chemotherapy.
In order to afford the treatment, the family has set up a fundraising page, which has already raised more than £10,000.
The drug works well on some people, but not as well on others, so until he begins the treatment, the family won’t know whether it’s going to have the desired effect.
Because Rogers was “responding brilliantly” to the chemotherapy before, they have high hopes that the same results might be possible the second time around.
Speaking about his next steps, Rogers said: “We’ve got to keep our hopes up.
“I’m so used to accepting chemotherapy now, that this is just the next thing for me.
“But I was responding to the chemotherapy well before all this, so hopefully it will be the same with Avastin.
“I’m just taking every day as it comes.”