Cancer patient reveals how he's having chemo while sailing around Britain

Olle Nash from Ipswich isn't letting bowel cancer stop him from sailing around Britain

Olle Nash from Ipswich isn't letting bowel cancer stop him from sailing around Britain - Credit: East Coast Photography

An Ipswich war veteran, who is sailing around the country for charity after the heart-breaking loss of his daughter, has explained how it's possible to be treated for cancer when he's miles from the shore.

Olle Nash is taking on the impressive trip to fundraise for Macmillan, which supported his daughter Toni through her final days battling pancreatic cancer in 2017.

The charity is now helping Olle navigate his own journey with illness after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2019 — he's been told he'll be living with the disease for the rest of his life.

He'll be setting off from Fox's Marina in Ipswich on Saturday, May 22, and will spend nearly a month on the seas before docking at Inverness for hospital treatment.

"I have had the all clear from my oncologist about the first leg for the journey," the 63-year-old said.

"We've changed my medication from intravenous to oral, which means I take the chemo in tablet form and they suit me quite well for some reason — other people really struggle with them.

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"I am on the highest dose you can get and I'm glad I've had some time to be able to test out the theory before setting off.

"I'll be getting my second cycle of tablets to take with me then I will get my bloods tested in Inverness, we've formulated a plan so that should be the only time I need to do that.

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"When I was initially diagnosed I didn't ask the longevity questions because I didn't want to know, but last year it became clear I wasn't going to shake it and at some point my health will deteriorate, so now we're just in maintenance mode." 

Once he leaves Inverness, Olle will have to travel back to Ipswich for hospital treatment and when he's ready, he'll return to complete the rest of his trip.

He'd always planned on doing the sail and imagined it would be in his retirement, but said things have changed and he doesn't know what his future holds so decided to go for it now.

Olle has been documenting his fundraising and said family and friends have been prompted to reach out to him about their own illness, something he'd hoped to achieve by sharing the support work Macmillan provide.

"Don't be afraid to contact Macmillan," he added. "This is all for them, it's not supposed to be about me really, sometimes it's easier to talk to a stranger rather than your family — open up."

To follow Olle's journey on his blog click here, and to donate to the fundraiser for Macmillan click here.

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