I looked like Freddy Krueger after horror illness spread through my body | The Sun

A DAD has opened up about how he was left looking like Freddy Kruger after a horror illness spread through his once-healthy body.

Geoffrey Seymour, 41, says his face turned into the “Nightmare on Elm Street" after he reacted to the chemotherapy that was meant to battle his stage four cancer.



Instead, the horror reaction even left him too embarrassed to go to his young son's cricket matches.

Geoffrey was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer, which later metastasized in the liver, in March last year.

He is still battling the disease and is now hoping a ground-breaking, £17,000 vaccine can save his life.

But, the dad has opened up about his journey so far – including when the treatment that was meant to help him left him in excruciating pain.

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Geoffrey said: “I had a really bad reaction in my face, it was full of painful blistering that made my face feel like it was on fire.

"I just got to the point where I was looking a bit like Nightmare on Elm Street.

“Unless I went there with a bag on my head, I'd have other people coming up to me and looking at me thinking, ‘What's wrong with this guy?’ when I'm quite happy blending into the crowd.”

Explaining why he reacted badly to a chemotherapy drug, he said: “Essentially it kills all your fast-growing cells, which include your cancer cells, but also includes your hair and nails.

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"I had a really bad reaction to that in my face."

Geoffrey's ordeal began just two weeks before his 40th birthday when he got the first warning signals of cancer.

He noticed blood in his stool, and, as he was aware it could be a symptom of cancer from ads on TV, he rushed to his GP.

It was then that the London dad, who lives with his wife Santa, 44, and their 10-year-old son Marco, was diagnosed.

Geoffrey said: “I’ve always looked after myself, so to get the diagnosis was huge.

“It was like being wrapped in a paper bag that’s on fire, but I’ve always had the knack of being able to find my way out of tricky situations and never giving up is just my thing.”

£17,000 TREATMENT

Geoffrey had part of his liver removed, and was set to start radiation, but his cancer continued to spread.

The chemotherapy had also stopped working, so, feeling lost, the dad went online to see what other options he had.

Geoffrey found dendritic cell therapy – which sees a personalised vaccine created in a lab with the aim of stimulating the immune system.

But, as research in this area is only in an early stage, the treatment was not cheap – just one injection cost £17,000.

And, as it wasn't available to him in the UK, Geoffrey had to fly to Germany to have the week-long treatment.

Geoffrey is now waiting to see if last month's treatement was enough to help him, while continuing to fundraise to pay for it.

'AN ARMY BEHIND ME'

Friends and family rallied around to contribute towards his appeal, which has raised more than £14,000.

Geoffrey said: “It's really very emotional, I love them for it and it actually makes me want to get better.

“I don't feel alone, and I feel as though an army is really behind me and ready to kind of support me if I fall down.”

Specialist cancer information nurse at Cancer Research UK Caroline Geraghty said: “Dendritic cell therapy is a type of vaccine that can treat cancer. Dendritic cells help immune system recognise and attack abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.

"To make the vaccine, scientists grow dendritic cells alongside cancer cells in the lab. The vaccine then stimulates your immune system to attack the cancer.

"It's still being researched, so the evidence base is not yet strong enough for it to be available in the UK.

"Decisions about the best course of treatment must be based on sound evidence of benefit – so it’s important patients talk to their doctor about any alternative treatment they might be considering.

"Thanks to ongoing developments in research, there continues to be many new cancer drugs showing effectiveness in clinical trials, providing potential options for people with cancer.

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"But while regulators have improved the speed at which they assess these for routine NHS use, there are still, unfortunately, times when particular drugs aren’t yet easily accessible for people who may benefit. We understand how frustrating this can be.”

You can donate to Geoffrey's GoFundMe here.

SYMPOTOMS OF COLORECTAL/ BOWEL CANCER

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, spotting any changes and going to your doctor is vital.

If you notice any of the signs, don't be embarrassed and make sure you speak to your GP.

The five red-flag symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
  • A change in your normal toilet habits – going more frequently for example
  • Pain or a lump in your tummy
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Losing weight

Tumours in the bowel typically bleed, which can cause a shortage of red blood cells, known as anaemia. It can cause tiredness and sometimes breathlessness.

In some cases bowel cancer can block the bowel, this is known as a bowel obstruction.

Other signs of bowel cancer include:

  • Gripping pains in the abdomen
  • Feeling bloated
  • Constipation and being unable to pass wind
  • Being sick
  • Feeling like you need to strain – like doing a number two – but after you've been to the loo

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