With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Ted O’Driscoll

Ted O’Driscoll is 59, a retired Pharmacist from Fermanagh, married with 2 grown up children, and 2 grandsons aged 3 and newborn. 

Ted is currently undergoing treatment for lung cancer.

Ted is supporting The Big Check Up 2023 to help the Marie Keating Foundation “Change how we see lung cancer”.

This is his story.

I am a recently retired pharmacist due to cancer diagnosis in 2017 of lung and subsequently secondary brain tumour. I am 59 and married to another employed pharmacist. I am originally from Fermanagh but have been living in Dublin for some 30 years. I have 2 children aged 28 aged and 31, a grandson aged 3 and another one due at end of October.

I was working part time from diagnosis but had to retire due to suffering a heart attack and cardiac arrest in July 2022.I currently attend a men’s shed to learn or develop new hobbies. I assist in minding my grandson though not on my own due to possible seizures from the brain tumour.

Recent scans showed no disease progression in either lesion and heart was stented so should be OK with that.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer at the age of 54 in 2017 by a combination of my gp and rapid lung access clinic. My symptoms were a vague pain in my chest and breathlessness. On diagnosis I was treated with standard chemotherapy which unfortunately didn’t have a huge effect.

It was then decided to totally remove the lung but for various medical reasons such as location etc that wasn’t possible. The doctors then decided to treat me with immunotherapy, which at the time was very new. It is used in very specific conditions e.g., where tumour is extruding various enzyme, and I was lucky enough to fall into that category. The preparation for it was another regime of chemo and radiation which luckily I suffered few side effects. Having the once monthly IV treatment, the tumour has been stable. The only major effects  is breathlessness. I continued to work throughout this and felt quite well apart from a bit of fatigue.

Unfortunately, 2 years later I developed a secondary brain tumour which after radiation is stable. The major problem with this is that I am now prone to infrequent mild seizures which defers me from driving and other dangerous activities and as a result I continued to work part time. In July 2022 I suffered a heart attack and cardiac arrest which in no way was related to the cancer. After revival I had to give up work entirely and now and do voluntary work and explore or develop hobbies.

I am generally well except for breathlessness and not being able to drive (unrelated to cancer)

Therefore, it is possible to live a reasonable life throughout a cancer journey with the help of magnificent doctors’ modern medicines.

I was diagnosed 6 years ago and have been many holidays and enjoying life as I should.

Click here to learn the facts about lung cancer, its signs and symptoms and read other real stories and experiences. The Big Check Up 2023 from The Marie Keating Foundation.