A tribute to Barry
Louise Munday sadly lost her brother to head and neck cancer. On what would have been his 50th birthday, Louise and family decided to celebrate the occasion and raise money to help others suffering with head and neck cancer. They all did an incredible job and raised £2,000! Here are some lovely words about Barry:
Barry was first diagnosed with cancer in 2010, a lump developed in his neck and when the side of his face dropped he went to the doctor, after a biopsy and surgery a malignant tumour was found in his parotid gland, the tumour was found to be around his facial nerve, this nerve had to be cut during surgery, causing his face to be permanently dropped on one side. He was successfully treated with radiotherapy after the surgery, he was kept an eye on by the hospital with regular scans, but only scans of his neck area.
Barry underwent reconstructive surgery on his face at a hospital in East Grinstead, they did a brilliant job lifting the side of his face up, and putting a weight in his eyelid, he also had botox on his wrinkled forehead.
In 2014 Barry developed a cough that being a typical man he left it and left it, until we finally got him to see the doctor, after x-rays he was found to have a tumour in his lungs, this turned out to be the same cancer as the one in his parotid gland. We all thought he would be treated with radiotherapy as before and he would be fine, but at an appointment with the consultant to discuss treatment he was told the cancer was terminal, he started palliative care and chemotherapy, after 4 sessions, an X-ray showed the chemotherapy was not working, as he had a rare cancer and it was rare for where it had spread to, they were unsure how to treat it, he was sent away to regain his strength whilst they looked into another treatment or different chemotherapy. He was looking so good not having any treatment the doctors decided to wait to try more chemotherapy. Whilst he was on a break at his parents, he started talking and not making sense, we managed to get him to hospital where they found the cancer had now spread to the brain, the hospital decided to give him some radiotherapy which helped and after a short spell in hospital with steroids and other medication he managed to get himself back to work, a lifeline for him. His consultant was at the point where there was nothing more they could do. He kept himself going with the help of steroids, still getting himself to work even on the bus, as he was then unable to drive, he then started to go downhill fairly quickly and passed away at home in December 2015 with his family looking after him.
He had a great send off, with so many people at his funeral we were able to raise money and sent it to a large well know cancer charity with the request it be used for research into his specific cancer, we got a thank you letter, that made it clear to us the money would be put into a large pot and not used where we had requested it to be used. The local hospice were not very helpful in his last weeks, we felt unsupported by them, so we didn’t want any money to go to them. Barry had a large circle of friends who wanted to raise money in his memory and asked us where we would like it to go, using good old google I was searching for a charity that had experience with his type of cancer, here I found HNCF Foundation, on reading about the charity and its research it seemed ideal for our fund raising, I had always said if I could campaign for anyone with cancer to have a full body scan to see if it has spread I would, Barry’s cancer was missed at he wasn’t checked to see if the cancer had spread anywhere else in his body.
Barry died at the age of 49, family and friends decided it would be a lovely way to honour what would have been his 50th birthday with a donation to HNCF, and we hope to be able to donate more to the charity in the future.