“I can’t thank Cancer Support UK enough” – John’s story

John Lawrence

John has shaved his head, following hair loss caused by chemo

John Lawrence has advanced oesophageal cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Originally, John considered writing a journal about his cancer experience, but decided instead to chart his journey on Twitter, where he posts positive messages in the hope that he may help others.

John is a dedicated follower of Reading Football Club (he is a season ticket holder) and a fan of Red Dwarf and Star Wars. You can follow John on @JohnLawrence329.

“I have been extremely lucky to have support from my family and friends, as well as my football team’s fans, who have been extremely supportive, especially as my oesophageal cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and liver.

“A surgeon gave me a prognosis that it couldn’t be cured and that it would be unusual for me to still be around in one to two years’ time.

John's tweet about his Chemo Kit

John has publically championed Cancer Support UK’s Chemo Kit on Twitter

“I started chemotherapy on 30 December 2021 and found the first couple of cycles tough. However, things like the mouthwash and toothpaste in Cancer Support UK’s Chemo Kit, which was sent to me, have had an immediate impact.

“It’s very hard navigating what may or may not work and once again I can’t thank Cancer Support UK enough for the amazing work they do! I am so grateful, especially as there is so much chatter on the internet. I wholeheartedly support what the charity is doing (I was referred to CSUK by a fellow football fan who is also going through chemo).

“My cancer journey has been hard, but I’m trying to remain positive. Being open and honest has aided in getting support and I believe that people find it easier to help or are more likely to respond well to positivity.

“Despite the awful prognosis, I believe if you start being negative, it doesn’t matter what happens next. The cancer has already won if it deprives you of your life (i.e. stop living) or enjoying what little time may remain. I have shocked myself, as I never considered myself to be inspiring or brave, but time and time again I am complemented for being just that.

John Lawrence before chemo caused hair loss

John before he shaved his head

“I simply believe in just being me and my open account of how I honestly feel has garnered positive attention. I would like to think it may help someone out there who maybe struggling with going through the same thing. As horrible as it is having cancer, I wish to leave my mark on this world, by hopefully being remembered as I am. I am overwhelmed by the love and support I have received and I am very grateful to everyone.

“I think that sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference and the Chemo Kit has definitely done that. By championing such a great initiative, I hope that it will benefit others going through a similar experience to myself or even just those fighting the varying degrees of different cancers.”

Cancer Support UK offers a range of free Cancer Kits to people currently undergoing cancer treatment, as a practical aid to their recovery. The kits contain items specially chosen for people receiving cancer treatment. They can be ordered for yourself or for a friend. Choose from the following kits: