News & Insights
Be Brave – Stand up to Cancer: Liam Moran, Senior Project Engineer
As part of Mercury’s ‘Staying Connecting this Christmas’ campaign, our team members are sharing their cancer stories, as part of the ‘Be Brave – Stand up to Cancer’ pillar.
Liam Moran, Senior Project Engineer, Fire Protection, shares his personal cancer story.
Can you tell us your personal story with cancer?
Exactly a year ago this weekend, I left my cousins 40th birthday early as I didn’t feel well at all. It was nothing specific – just a general unwell feeling and fatigue that had been steadily growing worse over the previous months. I have had back problems for years now, so I had discounted any symptoms I had as just a part of that, and as something that just had to be lived with and managed.
When I got home, I went to the bathroom and my urine was a dark red or almost purple colour and full of blood clots. I knew something was wrong immediately. The next morning it was worse, so I rang the out of hours doctor. After a quick consultation I was referred to hospital accident & emergency department for investigation.
I was sent for a CT scan, and within 30 minutes I was admitted to a ward. When I got to the bed there was a doctor and a nurse waiting there for me. I was asked to sit down, and it was then they said the dreaded “C” word. It was a surreal feeling, almost having to look around and check ‘are they actually talking to me’? I was told that I had an 8cm tumour on my right kidney and that both the kidney and the tumour had to be removed. I remember sitting there on the bed on my own feeling like I was going to burst, needing to talk to someone – anyone.
Surgery followed, and a pretty tough two months of recovery went by, until my follow up consultation. I wasn’t at all prepared for what I was told, the histology results said that it was stage 3, highly aggressive, and chemotherapy wouldn’t work with this particular strain. And so, I entered a 5 year programme of scanning and monitoring every 3 months.
Tell us about the impact and change the diagnosis had on you?
I’ve never experienced stress like it before. Mentally I had prepared for a surgery and recovery and that was it. The doctors were sure that it was stage 1, and that it would be surgery and then carry on with your life, so when I received the results it was very difficult to deal with. I almost felt like an imposter into the “cancer club” because I didn’t have chemo. I’ve been unlucky in that this has happened, but also very lucky that is was discovered when it was.
I’ve just had my 3rd clear scan, there are 2 areas that they are monitoring for changes, but so far so good.
I still suffer with fatigue and pain in where the kidney used to be, but it is slowly improving.
The stress and anxiety I get when I’m waiting on scans and oncologist appointment every three months can be overwhelming at times. My partner has been amazing. She keeps me going and focused on the road ahead. It’s been a rough year on her too.
The other impacts that I hadn’t considered is that I need to be careful what medications I now take. The tablets that had been keeping my back pain mostly in check can no longer be taken, and that in itself has had a big impact on everyday life.
Why are you supporting the fight against cancer?
I’m supporting the fight so that more people like me can call themselves cancer survivors. We’ve come so far with regards cancer research in the last number of years, and so many of us would not be here without the advances in medical science that this research brings. We need to ensure that this research continues so that in the future everyone gets a good chance of beating this disease.
What can people do to stand up to cancer and why do you feel it’s important to support fundraising and creating awareness?
Don’t ignore symptoms, no matter how small or insignificant. Please get them checked out thoroughly and don’t be afraid to speak up.
Please support cancer fundraising. It has saved lives, and with your help it can continue to do so. Cancer will affect so many of us and our families as we go through our lives. Please give those who are affected a fighting chance.
2019 saw the launch of Be Brave: Stand up to Cancer where Mercury’s employees led a campaign that helped to raise €41,000 for cancer, we were also shortlisted in two categories at the 2020 HR Management & Leadership Awards due to the incredible efforts made by staff during the campaign.
So far this year, our Mercury staff have supported several different fundraising initiatives. As 2020 nears its end, please keep up the generous momentum and help us stay connected this Christmas season by getting involved on Friday 4th December in our Stand up to Cancer Day by wearing pink at work or at home, donating or raising awareness about cancer.