Commenting, Vicky and Matthew Taylor said:
“The last eight months have seemed an eternity of worry, and especially the last two weeks. The operation brought a real risk of disabling Arthur, and we could not know if the chemotherapy had been successful until the tumour was analysed. But it has all proved better than even the Doctors hoped. We are so grateful to the NHS, and we are so proud of Arthur.
“Within days of his operation we got the news there was no sign of any disabling damage. Then at the Great Ormond Street children’s Christmas Party came the most important phone call of our lives. The tumour which was removed was all dead. Scans show the secondary tumours in his lungs have gone. And although another secondary tumour further up his spine is still to be scanned, they fully expect that has gone too, with only slight damage to the vertebrae. Arthur asked us why we had burst into tears, and all we could say was we were so happy it was Christmas.
“In the words of the surgeon – ‘this is as good as it gets’. Arthur won’t have the final ‘all clear’ for many years yet, and we know we’ll be seeing the inside of a hospital many more times, starting in January with more scans and tests – but there is no sign of active cancer now, and he’s got every chance it will stay that way.”
The operation (to remove what was left of his primary tumour after six months of intensive chemotherapy) was brought forward unexpectedly by a week at very short notice. The result is that Arthur is out of hospital in time to celebrate Christmas with Mum and Dad and brother Jacob, and family members from as far a field as the United States.
Matthew Taylor had already announced in 2007 that he would stand down at the General Election, so that he would not have to be away from his young family in Westminster every week. He says now that:
“This was the best decision of my life. I have been able to concentrate on Arthur, the family, and my constituency casework for the last eight months, without having the worry of campaigning to defend my seat.
“I chose to stand down to raise my two sons here in Cornwall where they can breathe fresh air, play in green fields and go to the beach – and so I can be fully part of their lives as they start school, not away in Westminster every week. To Vicky and me, Arthur’s cancer simply made it 100% clear it was the right decision, though we will continue to play active roles in Cornwall, and pursuing the issues we believe in.”