A dad from Manchester has been told his cancer is incurable – less than a year after visiting the doctors complaining of a stomach bug.
Jonathan Silcock, 37, from Cheetham Hill, may now have just 18 months left to live beside new bride Chelsea and his daughter Rosaleah, 4.
He went to doctors in February this year after he noticed he was losing weight and started vomiting after eating.
Following a endoscopy and biopsy, he was handed the devastating news he actually had stage four pancreatic cancer.
“I had been losing weight and feeling really unwell. Every time I would eat a meal, I would be sick,” Jonathan told the Manchester Evening News.
“I went to the doctors who referred me to the hospital in February this year, where they performed an endoscopy and a biopsy.
“I was told it would be a few weeks before the tests came back, but it was just four days later when I got a call asking me to go in and discuss the results.
“It was during tough Covid restrictions so I had to go on my own, and when I arrived there were two Macmillan nurses there waiting.
“I just knew it was cancer straight away.
“It came as such a shock. I have always been in and out of hospital but I never expected the news and I immediately started worrying about what it would mean for Chelsea and Rosaleah.”
Jonathan had to process this on his own because Covid restrictions in place at the time meant he could not have any loved ones beside him.
Determined to not let the cancer stop him, he still said “I do” to the love of his life Chelsea on June 2, just a few short months after receiving the news.
But weeks after tying the knot, Jonathan, who also lives with cerebral palsy after being born four months premature, was told that his cancer had spread to his bowels and oesophagus.
He has had to rely on a feeding tube to be able to eat ever since.
And in a recent follow-up hospital appointment, the dad-of-one was told the growth has continued to spread to his lungs.
This has now shortened his life expectancy from three years to just 18 months.
It is these precious months that he says he is now determined to create ‘lasting memories’ beside wife Chelsea and four-year-old daughter Rosaleah.
He said: “Me and Chelsea hadn’t planned to get married so soon but we just knew we had to go ahead with it after I was given the diagnosis.”
Within the week of his first diagnosis, Jonathan began his first round of chemotherapy treatments which he said were ‘just horrible’.
“They made me so tired and sick all the time,” he added.
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He was frequently returning to hospital for fortnightly follow-up appointments, before his condition started to worsen.
Emergency scans in April then revealed his cancer had started to spread to the outside of his bowel and his oesophagus.
The chemotherapy – his only hope of treatment – had to be stopped because it was ‘causing it to spread’ according to Jonathan.
He said: “I was in and out of hospital every few weeks, sadly that is all my daughter has ever known.
“But they told me the cancer was spreading and I had to come off the chemo straight away which was my only treatment option.
“It was a complete shock. I had to go home and tell all my family the news and they just kept telling me I had been through worse and could beat this.
“The cancer had become so aggressive and they just told me I would keep going to scans to monitor it.
“I asked doctors to stop telling me when it had spread because I just didn’t want to know. It was just more bad news I didn’t want to deal with.”
Jonathan still lives with a feeding tube through his nose, suffers from breathlessness and uses a wheelchair to get around.
Wife Chelsea and daughter Rosaleah have remained his “rock” throughout the diagnosis, with Chelsea now his full-time home carer.
Jonathan had previously been more able and had taught wheelchair basketball to juniors whilst playing for Manchester Giants Mavericks Wheelchair Basketball team.
It was just two weeks ago that the dad was handed the news he had 18 months left to live, after his cancer had spread further to his lungs.
Now, he is determined to spend his remaining days making memories with his family so they can “look back and smile”.
“My daughter is only four and she has seen me go through all this. It just isn’t right.
“Rosaleah and Chelsea have both just been my absolute rock and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have tried the treatment and tried to fight it.
“All we want to do now is make memories together. Chelsea wants to go to Benidorm and I promised my daughter I would take her to Disneyland.
“It is so important to us so that when the time does come, they can both look back on these times with a smile.
“It really makes you realise how important life is and how you should always make the most of each day.”
His sister-in-law Suzanne, from Salford, has also set up a Go Fund Me page to help the family pay for lasting memories with Jonathan.