Our Stories


Phil Carey ( C0-Ordinator )

My name is Phil Carey and I had my Oesophagectomy in July 2006. This is a major operation and you feel at the time that life will never be the same again. It can, with slight modifications be a very good life. You can be as fit and as active as you wish to be. I have recently taken early retirement and am enjoying life to the full.

Jinty and Ian Hay

(Treasurer and Secretary )

Elaine Jones

My name is Ian Hay (Secretary for SOS) and I am a Carer for my wife Jinty.

My name is Jinty Hay I was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer in February 2006 and had two sessions of Chemotherapy before the surgery in June of that year. It has been a slow journey of recovery but with the support of Ian, family, friends and my surgeon Mr. Chris Ball and his amazing team it has been worth it, as I am now nearly back to normal. Eating and drinking at first was a new learning curve, eating little and often was the answer but now in 2019, I'm back to a normal pattern of three meals a day and feeling fit and healthy.

Mick Hind

Sarah E Bruce

Upper GI Specialist Nurse

I was one of the 2 Upper GI Clinical Nurse Specialists at Morecambe Bay.

I’m moving to a different job on the emergency floor, but I’m keeping my commitment to the group regardless. I am keeping my Upper GI interest and will be closely involved in training.  There will be a new CNS ( Sarah E Bruce)  joining the team so I may finally have a friend to bring to Christmas Doo.

I worked full time and covered Lancaster and Kendal, occasionally covering the work at Barrow too. I specialise in looking after patients with oesophageal, stomach, pancreatic , bile duct and liver cancers. I also do some diagnostic work in clinics with more general gastroenterology patients. I see patients on the wards and in clinics throughout their treatment. I also deal with a lot of telephone queries.


All the team at Morecambe Bay believe strongly in the importance of having a support group to help patients get through some of the difficult times. Our local consultants really value the work that has been done in setting this group up.

I attend all the meetings where possible. It’s OK to catch me at meetings with any worries, or make arrangements to see me in clinic. Meetings are also about just getting together and relaxing with people who have some real insight into how you might be feeling. Come along, you’re welcome.

My Name is Mick Hind and I was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer in 2010. My operation was in May 2011 and up to present I have had a slow but positive recovery, if there is any advice I can give it’s “HANG IN THERE” as now it is not very different from what it was before, except I have a little less energy, eat smaller meals and take medication to combat reflux, but life is good and I am enjoying it to the full, with my family and friends.

I started in 2015,working as an Upper GI Specialist Nurse for Morecambe Bay.

My role is to support patients with cancer of the oesophagus, liver, pancreas and gall bladder throughout their cancer journey, surgery and adjuvant treatments.

Prior to this post I worked for 10 years as a Macmillan Breast cancer Nurse and have also worked as a Colorectal nurse specialist and district nurse.

I have 3 children William 22 who lives in Manchester, Hannah 20 who is studying dance and drama at Liverpool  and Jack who is currently finishing his A Levels at Ripley ST Thomas sixth form.

I have 2 mad  spaniels which I love walking  and have recently got engaged and am now married to Mick and the wedding was on the 31st Dec 2017.

I am a member of a local theatre group and enjoy being with my family and friends.

Kath and Trevor Plackett

Dorothy and Stuart Barnes

Cathy Monk

My name is Kathleen Plackett and my husband Trevor  had a Gastrectomy in  December 2012 when 2/3rds of his stomach was removed. Sadly he passed away suddenly, on the 22nd.June 2018 in St.Johns hospice.

I am still attending the meetings of the SOS Cancer Support Group which was a  good help to both of us  for the last 6 years where we both  met some lovely people and I will continue to support the group the best I can.

My name is Dorothy Barnes and my husband Stuart sadly  passed away suddenly, on the 14th Feb 2019.

I hope to still attend the meetings of the SOS Cancer Support Group which was a  good help to both of us  for the last 6 years where we both  met some lovely people , and enjoyed many outings and good company.

Sharon and John Bruce

June and John Metcalfe

My name is Cathy Monk and started on my Cancer Journey , on Wednesday the 15th.of April 2015 , and I  was booked in to Preston Hospital , for a complete  stomach removal , due to the results of tests which took place earlier in 2015.


We would like to welcome back Cathy Monk, to our SOS Monthly Meetings since June 2015. Cathy had her operation for Stomach Cancer less than 2 months ago in Preston Hospital. She is now living at home and learning to cope with life after Cancer.

My name is Sharon Bruce and I was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer in May 2015. I started chemotherapy in June 2015 and had 3 cycles but unfortunately this had little effect and my tumour continued to grow.

I had surgery in October 2015 in Plymouth but no follow up chemotherapy/radiotherapy (although they found 4 affected lymph nodes at the time of surgery) because of my experience with the first 3 cycles of chemotherapy.


It has been a rocky road at times but with a positive outlook and support from my husband John, family and friends I'm getting there.


SADLY on the 23rd September 2018 SHARON ANN BRUCE passed away in the company of her husband John and family.

My name is John Metcalfe and I was taken ill on holiday in France in June 2015 having had no previous symptoms apart from occasional indigestion, burping episodes and occasional difficulty swallowing which I put down to not  focussing on eating during meals.


The Upper GI Nurses were brilliant in expediting all the appointments during the diagnosis process and supporting me throughout what was to come. After the bombshell of the diagnosis and prognosis and being told chemo and surgery was the way forward and would be life changing. Lancaster Oncology Unit staff were wonderful and supportive.

Just before THE operation to remove the top part of my stomach and about 20cm of my oesophagus I was encouraged to go to the SOS support group. I wasn’t sure but was bolstered by an animated friendly group many of whom had had the operation years ago. I was so relieved and in November 2015 went into hospital with optimism. The surgical team at Preston Royal were caring and straight talking and a credit to the NHS. I was fortunate in that the chemo had totally regressed the cancer in my stomach.


It was a slog getting back on top of things. I had to learn to listen to my body, rest when I didn’t want to, remember the dietician saying less is more – that is small frequent meals. I was so lucky to have the support of my wife who lovingly cared for me and conjured up restorative drinks, soups and meals and the support of my family and the SOS support group. 12 months on I have celebrated my 70th birthday in style and as my energy levels improve getting back into my hobbies of photography, singing, playing chess and walking in the Lake District.