Saturday, 21 November 2009

The First Meeting at Basingstoke.

We had been given the bad news and were now waiting for our first consultation at Basingstoke.
Lesly had told me it could be 3-4 weeks before I was seen which seemed ages to wait after such bad news. We just wanted to know what was going on and how quickly I would be operated on.

We decided that we would carry on as normal. I was not affected with any side effects so no reason to change anything. It would keep some normality for the children and keep our minds busy with work and so on helping to keep us in a positive frame of mind.
We did vow not to go onto the Internet and research the condition as we were frightened as to what we might read.

So as normal as possible we kept things. I returned to work. I felt well in myself and continued to run 4-5miles twice a week in my lunch hour and longer at the weekend. The summer was here so I dug out the fishing gear and spent a few Sunday afternoons at my favourite little lake just up the road. i also made a return to caving after leaving it some time after my appendix was removed. Only an easy tourist trip into Swildons Hole on the Mendips taking a few friends down to sump one and back.

I made contact with the team at Basingstoke. I wanted to introduce myself and had a lengthy conversation with Susan Alves about what would happen next. Again she indicated that it would be some time before we were seen as my notes had to be transferred and the CT images analysed by the team at Basingstoke.

Finally the letter arrived, I was to meet with Mr Cecil on Wednesday 19th August at 10am.

We decided that both my Mum and Dad should come too so they heard everything that was said for themselves "straight from the horses mouth" so to speak. My Aunt who has been a good send throughout would come and sit with the girls.

We left early on the day of the appointment as we had a 1 3/4hr drive in front of us and didn't really know how to get there. Luckily the Navman did!
We arrived at the hospital and made our way to the outpatients clinic. We were soon shown in by Sue and met Mr Cecil.
Mr Cecil asked me to talk him through the sequence of events leading up to my appendix perforating. He examined me and then we discussed in detail the various aspects of PMP whilst looking at my CT images.
He explained that PMP was very slow growing. I had evidence of it around my Liver,Stomach,Spleen and in my pelvis. The right side of my abdomen was pretty clear as this had probably been cleared out during the appendectomy. He advised that the small amount of fluid seen had probably been in my abdomen for between 5 and 10 years!
He told me about the operation. He explained that I would probably need-
- A midline laparotamy with excision of the umbilicous.
- Stripping of both diaphragms.
- A diathermy liver capsulectomy.
- A Cholecystectomy.
- A greater and lesser omentectomy.
- And either a diathermy capsulectomy of the spleen or spleenectomy.
- A right hemicolectomy or possible excision of the appendic stump.
- And possibly a anterior resection.

If all the disease is then removed then an hour of intra-operative chemotherapy and possibly some post operative chemotherapy.

it was decided that a second CT scan should be done in October as there is often a lot of fluid left in the abdomen after the initial appendectomy and there was a slim chance that the body could re absorb this fluid.
If the fluid stayed the same or grew however, we would do the op.

And that was it.

The meeting was far more upbeat. The team seemed confident that there was something that could be done and whilst there are no guarantees there was a good chance things might work out OK. The statistics were that for two out of three people operated on they would remain disease free at three years post op. The odds didn't seem totally stacked against us. We all felt better and probably more positive that we had been for a long time.

I headed to the bloods clinic where blood was taken to check tumor markers.
We stopped in the cafe and ate some lunch and then headed home.
May be the PMP rollacoaster had just turned a corner slightly?


  1. Hi Dave, what an excellent description of what has happened to you this past year. Good move keeping a blog. You always appear wonderfully calm at work even though I cannot imagine what you and your family are going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with you constantly.
    Take care, Annette and Paul

  2. Thanks Annette. I just hope that someone in the same predicament as me will get something from the Blog that will help them realise they are not alone and we all feel and think the same thing. Hopefully it will also answer any questions that they may have.