Tuesday, 5 October 2010

8 Month anniversary- tell tale signs?

Saturday 2nd October was my 8 month anniversary. My recovery continues to go well and I am getting back to my normal routines. I have spent the last month working on the garden pond project and doing one day per weekend digging or the building work that goes with it. Saturday I finally got around to putting in the liner. One day is enough though as its been pretty tough work and I ache quite a bit afterwards.
I have been blighted by a couple of colds which has meant that my running hasn't progressed quite as quickly as I would have hoped. I'm still running around 3.5miles but struggling to do two runs a week at the moment which is pretty frustrating. Its also affected my plans to go caving in much the same way but I hope to get out towards the end of October. No point in rushing these things.
Other than that my general health is pretty good. The scarring is healing well and I don't really suffer with too many aches and pains. My bowel has gradually settled down and there are less visits to the toilet each day! I still find that I get tired and my stamina isn't where it was prior to the operation I get home from work each night and I'm pretty wiped out.
My weight continues to hold steady and over all I'm pleased with the way things are going. I have recently received my invite to go to the local GP and have my annual influenza vaccination but have yet to receive my appointment for my CT scan at Basingstoke.

I have been thinking allot recently about my history and whether there were any tell tale signs that things were not as they should have been? I have always suffered with my stomach in one way or another and wonder if it's been related?
My earliest memory of stomach related problems is when I spent a night or two in hospital at the age of around eight years or so. I had been suffering with stomach pain and was admitted with a "grumbling appendix". I spent a couple of days in the children's ward and gradually improved and they decided not to operate. I really wish that they had now as it would have saved me all this trouble!
Later into my teens I started to suffer with more problems. I would often wake in the night with terrible stomach cramps that would last for some time before I ended up in the bath room using the toilet and often being sick. This would last for a couple of hours and then would ease and I would end up sleeping for nearly 24hrs. The family doctor at the time diagnosed it as "abdominal Migraine". These episodes lasted for most of my adolescent life on and off but gradually got better and less frequent.
However I was always left with the problem that should I get excited or nervous it usually affected my stomach and I'd end up needing the toilet. My bowel seemed very sensitive to my mental state. Again I would suffer with cramps and would need to find a toilet.

Some years ago I visited a palmist. A friend of my father in laws but someone I had never met. He was a nice chap and seemed completely honest and didn't push for answers through loaded questions. He simply looked at your hands and told you about yourself. He didn't predict the future as he didn't believe in it but could advise you on medical treatments and ailments. I always remember that he told me to "be careful with my stomach and to stay away from spicy food" somehow he knew that I experienced problems in that area even though I had never told him about the problem. It was the first time we had met.

No so long before my appendix perforated I again had been suffering with some pain on the right hand side. The doctor at the time sent me for a scan of the gall bladder as he felt it might be gall stones and of course that came back clear. I hind sight, with this being so close to the appendix perforating I'm sure this was related in some way.

So were these early tell tale signs that all was not well....? I'm not sure really but it's worth making a note of. Perhaps others have suffered in a similar way?


  1. Hi Dave -- It was good to read your post. I'm glad that I am not the only one who is still "recovering" stamina. I wasn't prepared for how hard it would be to start back at school. I get home and head right for the recliner! Plus, my abdomen still hurts a fair amount -- especially after I've been sitting for a long time (teachers' meetings are the worst! At least when I'm teaching, I can move around : ) I guess I didn't realize that the aches would still be haunting me at this point. I was so euphoric to be alive after the MOAS, I just ignored anything that would normally have gotten me down. Now I seem to be coming down off that euphoric high and the landing is a bit hard at times (but then I kick myself for complaining!).

    I cannot pinpoint anything in my physical history that would lead towards having PMP. I never had abdominal pain particularly, and the discovery of my disease was due to totally unrelated circumstances. I just had no warning at all!

    Take care -- Anon 2

  2. Hi Anon no.2 (it would be great to know your name by the way!),
    It's really good to hear from you and your comments regarding your recovery. We sound at very similar stages. I also can empathise with your comments regarding coming down off the "euphoric high". For me I have realised that whilst I am well down the road to the physical healing, the mental scars are still there and more apparrent than I thought they would be. Most days are OK but when I'm tired things can get on top of me a bit and it has a habit of sneaking up on you. With my first CT scan looming it stirs all the old emotions and both Tracey and I have it heavy on our minds at the moment.
    Someone pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago that where I was this time last year and where I am now are two very different places and who would have predicted that I would be as well as I am and done the things I have already. I guess I have been lucky so far and should be thankful. Here's to the future!
    Best wishes as always,


  3. Okay -- I guess I'll give up my anonymity : )
    It is almost exactly a year since I began on this roller coaster ride. I went for a routine physical, then BAM! Craziness. For the next two months, while various people came up with competing theories (all of them scary), I sort of lived two lives -- an outer carefree, nothing-is-bothering-me facade for my students, and an inner scared, but holding on one for me and my husband. Then, after the surgery, my whole persona seemed split and fragmented: my body, mind, and spirit all seemed on completely different planes, and they are still figuring out how to integrate (my brain fog finally seems to be easing somewhat, thankfully!). But now questions arise about "the rest of my life." Coming so close to the edge brought me new revelations, but also the desire to not let the life I have left just sort of dribble away. I still have this lurking fear that I'll have to go through it all again, which is baseless, but there, nonetheless. So strange. On the other hand, the foliage is beautiful here, and fall has always been my favorite time of year!
    Thanks for this blog -- it's nice to have someone to talk to!
    Nancy (formerly Anon2)

  4. Wow what a contrast in story, I kind of thought maybe it was all connected with the abdominal Migraine but after reading Nancy's comment (Hi Nancy), maybe not then! I think you are looking really well Dave, and you and Trace and the girls haven't let this stop you carrying on as much as you can as normal. Hope you are still carrying on with that holiday you all deserve it!!! Catch up soon love Deb x x x

  5. Hi Dave, it's Collette. Thanks for sharing your blog. Though I don't have PMP, I am fighting breast cancer. I have had 2 major surgeries and my version of the MOAS is just weeks away. I keep a blog, and sometimes I ask myself who really wants to read all this? And then I come across some of the emotions, feelings and thoughts that you go through in your blog and it makes me realise that I share many of those. It acts as a comfort really, and a reminder that these thoughts are completely normal and rational. I hope my blog is able to help somebody in this way one day. Anyways,not meaning to waffle on. I am glad you are doing great and, as everybody keeps telling me - "take it easy on yourself". We are young, stubborn and don't like to give in, but sometimes you have no choice. I wish you strength on the weaker days, positivity on the "low" days and a long and happy life ahead. Take care my friend and say hi to Tracey and the kids.

  6. Hi All,
    Sorry I havent replied sooner but its been a very busy week. I just cant seem to find 1/2 and hour at the moment to sit down and get cracking with replies and all the other things I have going on!

    I am really truly pleased that you all take the time to make comments on my posts and to know that you are getting something from them. But one thing I would say is that I feel that you are also helping me with my recovery; as you all know there isnt a day that goes by where you dont think about the cancer in some way. But by writing the blog,answering mails and comments and organising the fundraising events it allows me to channel these thoughts into something positive. So thank you too!
    Hi Nancy, I know exactly what you mean about worries for the future and what it may hold? But as I say to Tracey (who worries about it a lot) I have to travel two motorways to and from work every day and who's to say I wont get flattened by a truck next week? Try not to worry about what might happen. In a way the uncertanty might be a gift,we can make sure that whatever time we do have left counts. Make sure that we spend that quality time with family and friends and stop to appreciate those golden moments. Appreciate the world around us and look past the hectic day to day lives that we lead and for me I'd like to give something back to the hospital who have done so much for me by funraising and organising events and at the same time raising the profile of PMP.
    The physical scars are healing and the aches and pains are getting less but the mental wounds are still very raw and lurk just bebeath the surface. It doesnt take much for them to come to the surface and only last night when I was telling a friend and work collegue (who I havent been able to catch up with properly about my experiences)about my halluscinations I got very emotional and had to stop for a few seconds and gather myself. I'm not sure that those wounds will ever heal and we just have to try and manage them the best we can.
    Like you I too enjoy this time of year, I actually enjoy the winter days too. They can be so quiet and peaceful. Those clear frosty days out walking whilst the natural world has gone to sleep for a while, wonderful!

    Hi Deb, I'd like to thank you too for your comments and support over the last year. We are lucky to have such good friends like you who stop by to say hello and to have a chat. I know that both Tracey and I really appreciate it.

    Collette, Its really great to hear from you. I have been surprised by the people who have made contact via the blog. It was largely aimed at PMP sufferers but there are a number of people who suffer with other types of Cancer who have also found it useful. I guess whatever the type of cancer the emotions are the same. I am sure that your blog has helped people already. There are many who visit the site and read it who never make comments or give feedback but still take something away from it.
    I want to wish you good luck with your up coming surgery. I'm sure the nerves are jaggling a bit now but you are in great hands. Please keep us updated with how things are going. We are sending positive thoughts from accross the pond!

    Peace and love to you all,


  7. Hi Dave
    Just wanted to say a huge congratulations to you for your amazing fundraising efforts!
    I wonder if you would consider us linking our sites so that we may reach even more PMP survivors and fighters?
    Keep up the good work xx