A NEWTON grandfather gladly celebrated the New Year - as it was one he thought he would never see.
Brian Jones was diagnosed with kidney cancer in October 2007.
The outlook was bleak for the 76 year old as doctors told him, despite taking out the organ, the disease had spread to his lymph nodes which could not be removed as they were in too dangerous a position.
For the same reason, chemotherapy and radiotherapy were also ruled out.
Mr Jones said: “It has been a very testing three years and there have been many ups and downs but we set targets hinging around birthdays, our wedding anniversaries, Christmas and New Year.
“One target was to be alive to watch England in the 2010 World Cup.
“The odds must have been against these things coming to pass, especially when I recall a conservation we had with our GP, a short time after the operations when we asked what grade my cancer was.
“My condition was grade four, which meant the best thing to do was draw out all your money and spend it while you could.
“God willing, this is my fourth New Year since the operation and already we are looking forward and planning things for next year.
“Through all this I never take things for granted and each day when I wake up my first words are ‘thank you God for giving me today’.
“This New Year’s Eve as the previous three was spent quietly with my wife Barbara reflecting on the past 12 months and praying we will be doing the same in 12 months’ time.”
Mr Jones says he does consider himself to be “very lucky” firstly being successful in his bid to be given the ‘wonder drug’ Sutent, unlike some other sufferers, at a cost to the NHS of 3,000 a month. And then he was accepted on to the trial of a second cancer drug, called Everolimus, after a CT scan revealed there had been a growth in the cancerous lymph nodes and he was told to stop taking Sutent.
His latest checkup, at Christie’s Hospital in Manchester shortly before Christmas, showed no change or growth in the lymph nodes, which Mr Jones said was the “best Christmas present” he could have wished for. The grandfather of two was also able to fly out to Abu Dhabi in late November to visit his son Mark.