Written by Editorial Team, DonateToday
Published: Wednesday, 20th December 2017

A shattered arm, two cracked vertebrae and blood cancer couldn’t stop him pursuing his lifelong passion – this is Andy’s story

A shattered arm and two cracked vertebrae couldn't hold him back – how Andy is refusing to let his cancer diagnosis stop him living his life

Written by ##author:callumpatterson## for DonateToday

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Andy’s cancer was very aggressive when it was first diagnosed

When Andy Finch was diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer, his condition was so aggressive that he was unable to get out of bed for three months. However, despite his diagnosis, Andy is determined to enjoy life and continues to live as fully as he can.


'As soon as I heard the word 'cancer' as I'm sure with everyone who has a cancer diagnosis, you hear nothing else – it takes a while to sink in,' Andy recalls.

'It was very aggressive at the start,' he continues. 'I seemed to react to virtually nothing –  I couldn’t even have a Stem Cell Transplant of any sort as my body wouldn’t cope with it.' 

After spending time in hospital undergoing trials and treatments, Andy was eventually allowed home to his wife and children. His troubles, however, were far from over.

"My right arm shattered clean through."


'When I finally got out of the hospital,' Andy remembers, 'My wife was like "Oh, so glad to have you home – the bed's all prepared for you and there’s a lovely, hot bath upstairs."

'As I was lifting myself out of the bath,' he continues, 'My right arm shattered clean through. It dropped me back into the bath and slammed against the two cracked vertebrae that I had.'

They Weren't Expecting Me to Get Past the First Christmas

This setback landed Andy back in hospital for three months, during which he was unable to get out of bed. His determination to continue living his life to its fullest was not dimmed though: 'They weren’t expecting me to get past the first Christmas,' he remembers.

'Since my initial diagnosis they have added a diagnosis of Addison’s Disease to my diagnosis and currently I am going through investigations to sort out whether I have Angina or Myeloma involvement in more vertebrae and ribs.

'Having read the figures, I thought "I'm ignoring those – I'm carrying on until I don't carry on anymore – don't concentrate on the negativity, just be positive,' he continues. 'I made the decision to carry on with one of my life-long obsessions which is photography.

'It's the ideal thing – it gives me something for my hands to do, and it's constantly keeping my mind going.' 

Andy refused to give up his life-long passion of photography and has been able to spend more time with his family since receiving his diagnosis

"I'm actually grateful of my diagnosis."



Reflecting on his diagnosis, Andy is extremely philosophical. 'As strange as it seems,' he says, 'I’m actually grateful of my diagnosis of myeloma because it's forced me to slow down and change my life completely. 

'It’s given me the opportunity to spend quality time with my wife and children that I just was not getting before. The important thing is to stay positive and find something to fight for.'

Andy also has advice for any people newly diagnosed with the cancer. 'Always be fully aware of your diagnosis,' he cautions. 'Understand it as best you can. Listen to your body – it will tell you what you can and can't do, but your mind will tell you exactly what you need to do.

'Keep yourself busy and your days will pass quicker and you'll have more of a quality of life,' he promises. 'You'll have good days and bad days – just like anybody else.'

Myeloma UK has recently been accredited by The Information Standard meaning that they have passed rigorous, NHS-approved checks to ensure the advice they are giving to the public is of the highest quality. The need for correct information is something Andy is keen to point out.

'Seek out proper advice,' is his instruction to fellow cancer patients. 'Look to Myeloma UK; the resources on their website are spot on: good, accurate advice – not sugar-coated.

'Sometimes I can sit and gaze off into the future,' he finishes, 'But I tend not to think too hard about it. I take it one day at a time because I've found that if you live each day to the fullest you can, you get more out of it, rather than looking forward to something in the future and holding things back until that day.'