ADRIAN was diagnosed with Melanoma, stage IV, in October. Metastatic tumors were found in his brain, lung, adrenal gland, spreen and lymph nodes.
It started one fine morning in August, he charged downstairs to show me the lump he found under his left arm that seemed to appear overnight. I have not forgotten the look on his face. He looked really worried, we only just went to a funeral of a dear friend who passed away from cancer the day before. I told him not to worry and I was sure that it was just an abscess. I was worried too, but who could have thought this would be the beginning of the end of our wonderful lives. He was given a course of antibiotic, and when that did not do anything, he was sent to hospital for further tests. They did a CT scan then and he had to go to Venezuela for a filming project before seeing the result. When he was up on the top of the mountain, his left part of the body went paralized but he insisted to finish the job before coming down on a helicopter. They thought it was a DVT induced by the high altitude.
When he got back, he was referred to the hospital and MRI scan showed that his brain had 4 inflamed tumors, the main cause of the paralyzation. They removed the lump under his arm and biopsy revealed the worst nightmore; it was Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. He was put on steroid and he got his left side of the body back to work again. He then underwent five sessions of chemotherapy, but the result was not satisfactory. They decided to stop and concentrate on the brain first by giving him radiotherapy of the entire head. The last scan of the brain after the radiotherapy showed that the tumors began to shrink. For the first time, this was a really good news and there was a glimmer of hope....
As they could prove that the brain metastasis was under control, he was qualified for an experimental immunotherapy drug 'ipilimumab'. He was on his third one and one more to go in about a week time. The problem was that he was getting so weak from all the treatments and he had lost all of the muscle on his body. He was not able to walk unaided for months. He felt sick all the time and his saliva gland was partially damaged by the radiotherapy, he was unable to eat properly and the pleasure of eating was reduced to nothing. Finally he was admitted to Weston hospicecare and after a very long and painful six days, he passed away peacefully on Sunday 5th June 2011 at 19.35 pm, with his family by his side.
I’m proud of him and I love him very much. He had showed a great deal of strength throughout the treatments; his quick wit and charming sense of humor had never faltered, and his extraordinary positive attitude remains a source of inspiration to me. He was a great man and had done so much in his short life. He was a great father, a great partner and my best friend. We lived together, we worked together, we brought out the best in each other; my future seems uncertain and I do not quite know yet how I could survive without him...
Dae and family (Luke, Sean and Oliver)
From the beginning of the treatments to the last day of his life, we received the most amazing support from Weston Hospicecare. We would like to do a little to say thanks to them and we are hoping that instead of sending us flowers, you give the money to the charity and this can be done through JustGiving website here.