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dad given all clear and was told his cancer is back three days later

Dad given all clear and was told his cancer is back three days later

A father-of-three given the all clear from cancer before doctors found a new lesion on his brain days later, has said all he can do is “try and stay strong”. Darren Gooch, 45, who lives in Sutton, London, with his wife, Kelly, 40, an assistant manager, and their three children Faith, 18, Daley, 14, and Teddy, two, began having seizures in the summer of 2023. After experiencing behavioural changes, memory loss and night sweats, he decided to liquidate his gas business and the family had to rely on his wife’s part-time wage. A few weeks later, Darren was diagnosed with primary CNS lymphoma – a disease in which cancer cells form in the lymph tissue of the brain – and began four rounds of intense chemotherapy. Four months on, Darren was told he was cancer free and “couldn’t believe it”. But just over a week later, he had another two seizures while in hospital and was told he had a new lesion on his brain and the primary CNS lymphoma had returned. Darren is still trying to process the news, but believes having a “laugh about something” or doing “something enjoyable” is what made him “beat cancer the first time”, so is determined to “do it again”. Darren told PA Real Life: “I don’t know how I’m going to deal with the mental side of my diagnosis because I still haven’t processed it. “Cancer doesn’t care about anyone. You know, it doesn’t matter what race you are, it doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s a bit worrying but I’ve just got to try and stay strong.” On July 20 2023, Darren had two seizures while asleep in bed – something he had never experienced before – and was rushed to St Helier Hospital where doctors spent three weeks conducting tests. He said: “I didn’t know what the hell was going on, I didn’t even know what a seizure was – it was just so worrying.” When he arrived home, his condition worsened and he began experiencing behavioural changes, memory loss and night sweats. “I kept forgetting where I put things, I found working harder, I was sort of getting the shakes and feeling nervous… just things like that that I’d never normally do,” he explained. “I’d wake up in the morning and it was like I got someone to chuck a bucket of water over the bed. I got absolutely soaked and I had to have a shower and change all the quilts and everything. “It made me a really, really, really horrible, nasty person – I’ve never been like that in my life.” A few weeks later, Darren had another five seizures and was put into a medically induced coma, but thankfully woke up the following day – realising he was no longer fit for work and decided to liquidate his business. He said: “It got to the point where I couldn’t even walk or think, so there was no point in me keeping the business running. “I couldn’t provide for the family like what I always did so that was quite devastating for the family as well, because they relied on me – I get really emotional about that and cry every day.” On September 5 2023, Darren received his biopsy results and was told the devastating news he had primary CNS lymphoma. He said: “I went from walking around and thinking everything is fine, to a massive shock where everything changes – your whole perception on life just changes. “My family were mortified – I think they thought ‘Why us?’. When you say the C-word, everyone just automatically thinks it’s the worst thing in the world but they were just so, so upset.” After four months of gruelling chemotherapy treatment, he was told he was cancer free. “I was like, ‘OK, well that’s amazing’ – at the time I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “They (the doctors) said to go home and celebrate and open up a bottle of Champagne, but don’t drink it to excess.” But just days later, while in hospital beginning treatment for a stem cell transplant, Darren had another two seizures and an MRI confirmed his primary CNS lymphoma had returned. Darren said: “I still kind of haven’t processed it… so it’s really worrying. “I never believed I was cancer free, I was always sceptical, but my family were so happy for me and thought we could get our life back together. We are very lucky to have such a supportive family, they are helping us get through this day by day. “My sister has set up a GoFundMe for me to help raise awareness and help us be able to afford our mortgage – I didn’t ask her to do it or say how much we needed – but it shows there are still good people in the world.” On how his diagnosis has impacted his family, he said: “My wife is an assistant manager for a holiday company and can only work part time because she’s looking after the little one as well as running the family home – that’s without taking care of me and our eldest two children.” Looking to the future, Darren said: “With my job, you have to be on the ball all the time, and now I might never be on the ball again. “I don’t know what the future holds because I’ve still got to have some tests… I’ve got to the point where I have to just do a day at a time and still just try to do something enjoyable and laugh about something. “That’s basically what’s got me through because I feel like I beat cancer the first time by doing things like that, so I can do it again.” To donate to Darren’s GoFundMe, visit: gofundme.com/f/our-brothers-battle-with-brain-cancer

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