Day 1

Strange, both Paula & I had the best nights sleep we’ve had for a long time. Must be the knowing that helps, even if the news is upsetting.

Yesterday evening after leaving the hospital, we went to see my parents to tell them the news, as expected they were upset as was I. Funny that I can talk to my father and keep it together but as soon as I look at my Mum, the tears flow.

Anyway they know now and I know they will be supportive and do all that they can to help.

Once we got home, a quick bite to eat and then it was time to hit the phones and send texts where appropriate. Everyone is shocked to hear the news but all offer support for both me & Paula which is very much appreciated.

I explain that because of the location of the tumour, I will need to have a stoma fitted. This is because once I start my radiotherapy (more in that in a while) the tumour will grow before it shrinks. If it does it will make it virtually impossible for me to open my bowels.

This will take place on Tuesday 13th Sep and I will be in hospital for four days. This is because it will take a day or two for the stoma to start to work and I need to learn how to use it, clean it and change the bag.

Once out of hospital I will be given some time for the surgery to settle and then I will start my radiotherapy which will be every day, Mon to Fri (I get the weekends off, woo hoo!) for six weeks. The radiotherapy is to shrink the tumour so that when they come to remove it, surgically, the least amount of damage will be done to the tumour site.

Next, will be a break of twelve weeks for the therapy to continue to work. As my consultant explained, it’s a bit like a microwave meal that you cook for five minutes then leave to stand for two minutes!

Along the way there will be more scans and some chemotherapy.  Once the tumour is removed I will be given more chemo to make sure it’s all gone.

At this stage, there is no sign of cancer anywhere else as I have had a CT scan of my abdomen which shows that all of my other organs are clear, phew!

Today I told the last few people that it was too late to tell last night and as before, all gave messages of support and positivity.

I have had all of the phone calls from the hospital that I was expecting and now have appointments on Monday for blood test, pre assessment and to meet the stoma nurse.

The stoma nurse will explain how it all works and mark where it needs to go. This is important as they don’t want it to interfere with my ‘normal’ clothing so they will want to avoid any creases (not that my belly is that big!) and the belt line. They will mark the spot where the stoma is to go so that the surgeon puts it in the correct place.

That’s it for today!


6 thoughts on “Day 1

  1. Reading your first blog entry I thought “the last thing he needs is a bumpy ride with a tumour up his bum”!

    From that you may guess that some of my comments are likely to be not so serious. I hope that’s okay with you, Pat, but let me know if over step the mark at any time. Yes, this is definitely a sad situation but humour has it’s place as well.

    You’ve invited comments and suggestions, etc, so here’s my beef out of the way first. The one phrase that I can’t abide hearing is when someone is described as “living with cancer”. I understand why people say this as an attempt to put a positive ‘spin’ on such an awful word. I also get the impression that the phrase is trying to make cancer appear like any other ‘normal’ disease but to me it does the opposite. We don’t say that someone is “living with a throat infection” or ‘living with a broken arm”. So, in attempting to normalize cancer by using this phrase we are, in fact, setting it apart. “Suffering from…” is certainly negative when used in front of a disease but what’s wrong with “I’ve got….”? It’s accurate and isn’t ‘politically correct’.

    Shakespeare wrote “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” so why don’t we call cancer something else? I’ve been diagnosed with “butterflies” or “fluffy bunnies”? A free colonoscopy to whoever provides the best suggestion!

    Dennis Potter, the playwright, had cancer. If I remember correctly he called his tumour Maggie, after Margaret Thatcher who is disliked immensely. In calling the tumour Maggie he channeled all his negativity at the tumour in the hope that his body would turn that negativity against the tumour and destroy it. Not the most conventional of treatments admittedly but, hey, every little helps.

    Finally, you know that we’re all immensely sad for you that this has happened. We know that you’re going to be positive and intend beating this. We also know that you’re scared. Not just because of the long term implications but also because you don’t know how the radiotherapy is going to affect you or how big the changes in your life will have to be because of the stoma. We know you’re going to be brave but don’t be brave just for the sake of it or for us. If we don’t know you’re hurting we can’t help and support you. Cry whenever you want to; it’s not a sign of weakness. But don’t do it in private on your own. Do it at home, in the car but maybe not at the checkout in Tesco’s, you may get some funny looks!

    Good luck with your procedures next week and we look forward to sharing your journey and helping you along the way.


    1. Thank you so much for that Steve. Nobody else could have written it so eloquently. Humour is absolutely fine, in fact I welcome it.

      Agree with you regarding ‘living with’ as opposed to ‘I’ve got’. I’m definitely in the ‘I’ve got’ camp. It’s just a disease after all.

      Thanks for taking the time, much appreciated.


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