"Oh What a Feeling!"
Ignorance is bliss. I was pretty blasé about my approaching surgery. It was just as well I didn't know what I was in for!
The big picture is that I had a marked change in bowel habit. My GP sent me to a gastro specialist who did a colonoscopy on 9th October. This revealed what was believed to be two malignant tumours and two polyps. Surgery just 20 days later saw about 11 inches of the upper rectum and sigmoid colon being removed. Subsequent pathology on the removed section revealed no less than THREE malignant tumours and one large polyp. There were 21 lymph glands removed, one of which contained some cancer cells. So six months of mild oral chemo (tablet at home) is to follow and I need to keep my colostomy bag until after the chemo is complete. My new Oncologist tells me that he believes that there is a 75% probability that I am already cured and after the chemo this probability lifts to 85%.
The post operative pain and the anaesthetic "blocker" in the spine were agonising. I wont "bang-on", suffice to say that notwithstanding the self fed morphine, the post operative first 48 hours was something I never want to go through again. I admit to having a low pain threshold and have been accused of being a big sook, but..... My very personable, humorous surgeon, when I inferred he was not offering sufficient sympathy, told me that the hospital "was not a holiday camp!"
I have a wound which runs from just below the sternum, around the "tummy hole" to the pubic area. Quite a scar. It is healing well after a low level infection at the lower end. Initially any movement was undertaken with great caution and walking is still not exactly relaxed, but every day is better. I have relished the support and prayers of family and friends. Once again, in an hour of need, the clergy and congregation of St Swithun's have been wonderfully supportive as have my Club friends and former work colleagues from Swire, Dalgety, and other industry associates.
I spent 10 days in hospital and will have been in this convalescent home for three weeks when I go home next Thursday. Given circumstances at home I have managed to stay here for a week more than my condition would normally have justified.