Friday, 1 May 2015

Blog 1 - The Very First Post

    We’ve decided to try and keep a diary. A joint collaboration between myself, Stew Crowther & my wife, Lucinda Crowther.
Not a daily diary even though it was going to be called Daily Diary. No...I already knew that wouldn’t work. But we will try to keep up as much as possible.
I think I will just chuck anything and everything into this. Artwork, photos...but also it could be useful to keep a record of my health and what is happening to both of us.
I do not know if this blog will ever go public; I just needed somewhere to get our thoughts down. But like a lot in life – things could change and we may go public. Of course – who would ever want to read this?
Good question.
Well, we are hoping that we can try our very best to make cancer just a little less scary for people.

* Update * We have decided to go live with this blog and hopefully it will be of interest to some people.

A lot of people when they find out they have cancer have only a rough idea what will happen next. A lot of people, straight away lose all hope. But it is amazing what a little love, laughter, positivity, humour and gratitude for your family and friends can do. We always try to look on the bright side of everything; It really does help. The amount of times we have been sat in a waiting room for almost certain bad news whilst chuckling away saying the most crazy stuff to each other...ha ha...the looks you can get. But this can really help to relieve the fear & tension.
    Oh, and it is the 1st of May. Always a good time to start anything new if you ask me.

One more thing: Please know & feel free that you can to write to us if ever you want to. In fact, we would love to hear from you. And there are a few ways to get in touch -
1. You could leave a comment on one of the posts on here Brain Drain
2. Email

    So here goes…

First a little bit of positive news from 2013/14.
 In October 2013, I had my second lung operation. But by December, I had found a lump which turned out, after scans, to be bowel & lung cancer. Things didn't look very good. I was told the best thing would be to have all my bowel removed – which would entail plastic surgery. It would be a large operation. If that went well, they would then talk about the lung operation.
We both needed time to think about going through all this when in all likelihood, with my history it could all still come back somewhere else. We had from February to May to decide.
It was decided the best thing to do by May was chemotherapy & radiotherapy.
From the back end of May 2014 then June & July, I went through chemotherapy. And from the back end of August through September, I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy including a week in hospital from an infection. In October, I had scans to see how it had all gone. In November I had CT, MRI & PET scans and a colonoscopy.
On November 17th, which was Lucinda's birthday – we had an appointment to see the bowel surgeon. We went expecting nothing but bad news.
He told us that he couldn't find anything there at all. All clear without an operation. It seemed that the chemotherapy & radiotherapy had worked really well. I was called an enigma...ha ha. It was such a great birthday present for Lucie.

We decided to go visit family in Yorkshire, Lancashire and the North East just after Christmas until New Year. While away, I started to have problems with my vision – flashing and a little blurring and a few headaches. I had an appointment at the opticians so I told them about this and the referred me to the Eye Hospital. But they didn't find anything wrong.

It was coming up to our first wedding anniversary, so in the middle of March 2015, we decided on a trip to Northumbria (somewhere we had always wanted to visit)  and see family again. We never had chance for a real honeymoon the year before. While away, the headaches became really bad with crippling pressure in my head and dreadful dizziness and nausea getting worse by the day. Lots of times I just had to go to bed while on holiday.

On Tuesday 7th of April I saw the doctor who set up a CT scan for the 18th.
By Monday 13th, I fell really sick and went to bed. Lucie called the GP who called the paramedics. They rushed me to hospital. I ended up in hospital until the Friday. I was due a CT head scan on the Saturday18th but they rushed it through to the Wednesday. Result being I have a brain tumour.

* Back up to date *

    Yesterday, we eventually get the phone call we have been waiting for. It was from the Southampton Neurological Department – so it looks like I have acquired another specialist nurse to my ever growing cancer team. It also looks like they think they may be able to operate on my brain tumour as I have three appointments for next week, which of course, is very positive news.
  Tuesday 5th May, 1:15 Pre Assessment C Southampton. And then 2:30 on the same day, an appointment with Mr Grundy at the Neurological Outpatients Ward. And then again on Thursday 7th May, another MRI brain scan.
    I really do not think they would be setting up all these appointments if they didn’t think they could do anything but radiotherapy. Come to think of it; I'm not even sure who is going to be my Oncologist yet.

    And in other news...
These arrived today....

 What we artists like to call a pencil sharpener
 A travel brush.

 A travel brush coming together.

 A Escoda travel brush together.

A few Derwent Graphitint pencils.


  1. Stew you never cease to amaze me.First your amazing art and now your incredible blog with Lucinda.Your courage writing the blog will I think be an inspiration to many and hopefully help to keep them positive.I hope you get some good news soon and look forward to the next episode. Phil (MAS)

    1. Hello Phil. Great to hear from you!
      You know, this positivity lark is hard work...ha ha.But really - if you can keep looking on the bright side (usually quite hard to find but it is there somewhere), it helps SO much. I know people will say 'It's easy for you to say.' But today we had some really bad news and I refuse to get down about it. I know I have to keep up to keep going!
      Thanks for taking a look and the great comments Phil.
      Lucinda & Stew (MAS)

    2. Hello Phil and yes thank you for stopping by. Stew is indeed very inspirational, and together we'll keep smiling, despite the recent news!

  2. As Phil says, you never cease to amaze. Always a pleasure to read or see anything from you, and delighted you and Lucinda are both doing this. She is definitely your third 'L' though I like the 'LOTS' of positivity too - you both do that amazingly. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Hello Jane. We are delighted that you have taken the time to write in our little comments box :-)
      You're right about Lucinda - she is amazing!
      By the way, I hope the drawing/painting is going ok. I have just been doing a really tiny amount - I will try to get a photo of my sketchbook.
      Take Care
      Lucie & Stew.

    2. Stew, I see from your comment to Phil you have been hit with more bad news - so am sending some arrows of good thoughts and love to you both to help with the positivity, which I am sure is very hard to find sometimes. Look forward to seeing the sketchbook photo as and when - you are an inspiration to keep on making art.
      Jane x

    3. Thank you for the message Jane.
      Yes, more bad news but we keep smiling. Hope you're ok.
      Love Lucinda & Stew x

    4. Thank you Jane, and you are quite right he is an inspirational artist and well.... a very inspirational man.
      Take Care and Thank you for taking a look x

  3. Stew, Thanks so much for putting this blog together, I know it will help many. And please please keep making art and showing us your work! It's wonderful to "meet" Lucinda, and please know you have prayers, hope, and encouragement coming your way from Los Angeles!

    1. Hello Melissa, Thank you for reading and commenting.
      We send many thanks all the way from Dorset, England.
      Love Lucie and Stew x

    2. Hello Melissa, and lovely it is to meet you too.
      Thank you for popping in and all prayers etc very much welcomed.
      Take Care x

  4. You mentioned about who would want to read this stuff? I think your idea of writing things down and keeping a record of what has and is happening to you is a marvellous thought, it not only gives you strength in what you have already defeated, it is an invaluable insight for anyone that is about to tread the same path, it offers positivity with a jovial slant, it shows that even through the hardest battles in life that there is hope. You two are awesome.

    Gray Dawster, Andro Vampy and Me :)

    1. Hello to all three of you, Thanks for stopping by and taking the trouble to read our blog, and your continued support.
      Stew does have a wonderful sense of humour which comes through in the writing. You are quite right too, it does help with our own positivity in writing it down and hoping it will make it less daunting for others. Hope and smiles is the order of the day :-)