“QE staff are absolutely amazing” says Gateshead cancer patient

A Gateshead man, who is undergoing treatment for cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has praised NHS staff as "absolutely amazing" – and gave them recognition on national radio earlier this year.

Peter Henderson, 53, from Ryton, was diagnosed with myeloma, which is a type of bone marrow cancer, in November.

Since attending the QE for a range of treatments since March 2021, including investigations and diagnosis for his condition, Peter is impressed with the “perfect” care he has received. He was so impressed he sent a ‘shout out’ to Gateshead NHS staff which was aired on the Chris Evans breakfast show on national Virgin Radio last month.

Peter says: “It started back in March, April when I was having really severe stomach pains. I was sent to the hospital for tests and endoscopies. I got diagnosed with celiac disease in the July but I was still feeling really lousy. So Dr Saeed sent me to a haematologist for more blood tests and a bone marrow sample taken. I went in and I was diagnosed with myeloma, blood cancer. It was a shock. I started the chemo treatment the week after, it’s a six-month course of chemo with a stem cell implant after.”

Peter, who has been married for nearly 30 years to Andrea and has a 27-year-old daughter, says the staff in the chemotherapy unit are great: “The staff, obviously Lillian and the rest of the staff are absolutely amazing, I couldn’t thank them enough, nothing is a bother to them.”

And his experiences across the hospital have been positive. “From endoscopies to the MRI scans, everything has been perfect. No waiting from the appointment through to being seen.”

Now Peter wants to raise awareness of this rare form of blood cancer and he is planning fundraising efforts for Myeloma UK. He adds: “I want to raise awareness of this disease as I don’t think it gets much recognition. It’s very rare but to diagnose it could be a simple blood test. Hopefully next year I’m going to the Great North Run and do some fundraising to raise some money.”