Mark Jones, 45, from Urmston, was training for a marathon in December when he found a lump in his stomach – which turned out to be end-stage kidney cancer
Image: Manchester Evening News)
An “active and social” father of two was training for a marathon when he found a bump that turned out to be terminal cancer.
Mark Jones, 45, from Urmston, Greater Manchester, first noticed the raised mass on his stomach in December last year – but thought it might have been a hernia from the half marathon he ran a few weeks earlier.
In the week leading up to Christmas, Mark became alarmed when he began to experience severe fatigue and random pains in his back and sides of his body.
He went to his GP and was sent for scans before being told the lump was kidney cancer and he had just months to live. Manchester evening news reports.
Manchester evening news)
“I knew something was wrong,” said Mark, who lives with his wife Sarah and daughters Sadie, three, and Poppy, eight.
“I thought at first it was a hernia. I had been training for a marathon so I had run a half marathon a few weeks earlier.
“Of course you only think of the best. Cancer is the last thing on the list.”
The Manchester United season ticket holder visited his GP and was referred to hospital for a series of scans.
Last month, doctors broke the devastating news that he had cancer.
“They confirmed it out of the blue,” Mark said.
Manchester evening news)
“They said it had spread to my spine so they had to do radiation therapy to shrink the knots so I could move and walk.
“I went straight to the hospital and had radiation therapy on Saturday. I lost my legs because they put me in spinal shock.
“I had 10 sessions with it for 3 weeks without really understanding how bad it was.
“I didn’t say anything to anyone at first because I wanted to understand what the prognosis was.”
Doctors then told Mark that the cancer had progressed to the point where it was “incurable.”
“It was a bit of a shock,” he said. “Everything happened so fast.
“As soon as I knew it, I told my family and friends that unfortunately they will lose me.
“There’s no way I’m going anywhere in two months. I will keep fighting and stretching it as long as I can. If I get there by Christmas, great.”
Last week, Mark took to Twitter to update his followers about his shock diagnosis. The tweet, he says, went “crazy” and resulted in him receiving hundreds of messages of support.
He hopes his story will encourage other men to check themselves for signs of cancer.
Weeks after his devastating diagnosis, Mark is still unable to walk and spends his days bedridden at home, far removed from his old lifestyle.
“I was an active runner, always on the move,” he explained. “From being really active and social to just sitting here every day isn’t the best.
“I’m positive and I’m fighting, but it’s getting a bit demoralizing. I get physio every day and managed to get into a wheelchair which is good.
“Ultimately, it’s kidney cancer and it’s just common everywhere. It’s incurable. There’s nothing we can do, it’s just a matter of how long we can keep me alive now.”
Mark, who has worked in IT, says he is keen to explore treatment options so he can spend longer with loved ones.
On Thursday he tied the knot with his partner Sarah. They were joined by family for the brief ceremony at their home, while the couple’s daughters acted as ring bearers for the big occasion.
“We’ve talked about this in the past,” Mark said.
“They don’t think we have to do this now. But when it happened we thought we had to do it.
“Everything went really well. Someone came from the registrar. It’s a big milestone under unfortunate circumstances, but I’m really glad we made it.”
On March 13th a group of Mark’s closest friends will attempt to run the Manchester Marathon route to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
In less than a week they have already surpassed their £10,000 fundraising goal.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/active-dad-two-told-just-26400975 The active father of two said he has just months to live while training for a marathon