Friday, 14 December 2012

MOAS II + 4 Months- Progress report and reflecting on 2012

It’s been four months to the day since my second MOAS and an update on progress is well overdue.

 It’s clear that the recovery this time around has been quicker than the first operation. The operation was a lot shorter with nothing actually being removed this time around; the disease that was found was simply removed from the surface of the effected organs and followed up with HIPEC (Heated Intra Peritoneal Chemotherapy). That said it was still pretty invasive and still six hours long! The recovery was hampered slightly by a bout of Pneumonia but otherwise has been pretty quick. I returned to work three weeks earlier than expected and things have gone well. I have also started running again which was much earlier than expected. I remember talking to Jade the Physiotherapist on C2 ward whilst I was in hospital and suggesting that I wouldn't even consider running until the New Year! I’m only running 5-6km twice a week at the moment but it’s a good start and far better than I imagined. I do get some aches and pains the day after but that’s to be expected. The strange thing is that the area that seems most affected is the area where the Stoma used to be and not the new scar line. I fully expect that as my core recovers these aches and pains will subside. I am more than confident that my speedy recovery both times has largely been down to my positive approach and fitness levels.

 I have also found that my eating regime has returned to normal and food is not an issue. I don’t seem to have any restrictions other than volume.
All in all things have gone very well indeed.

2012 has been another challenging year for us all. A second cancer diagnosis and a second MOAS. But I must be very thankful that the team at Basingstoke Hospital have again been able to work their magic and I have again come out the other side relatively unscathed.  The family appear to have dealt with it very well also. I guess we are becoming old hands at it now.  That in itself is worrying though. I don’t want the girls to get a false idea that because we have done this twice and been lucky enough to get a good results both times around that cancer can always be beaten and that if we are faced with it again that the same results are guaranteed. We must maintain a balanced viewpoint at all times.

 I know that talking to Tracey recently she told me that she expected the stay at Basingstoke the second time around to be easier as she knew what to expect but it wasn't  Although she knew the place well and the surroundings were familiar the whole ordeal was equally traumatic. The day of the second operation was just as hard as the first time around.

 However some good has come out of a bad situation once again. We have made some great new friends throughout the year through contacts made due to PMP. We have stayed in contact with Robin and Karen who we shared our stay with at Basingstoke and I'm pleased to say that Robins recovery has also gone well.

 The inclusion of my story in the Cancer Survivors Club book by Chris Geiger has also been a great experience where we have managed to meet with other survivors and also help raise awareness of Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. The book is proving to be a great success and very popular and more importantly raising money for cancer charities.

 I have also manager to raise around £200 pounds through the sale of bird and bat boxes and will be sending the cheque to Basingstoke hospital in the next week or so. A big thanks to all who have supported us with this by purchasing a bird or bat box.

 So with Christmas looming ever closer we are going to be celebrating as a family and giving thanks that we are all sat around the table together and in good health. We will look forward to 2013 and make sure that we make every day count.

 I'm sure that any fellow bowel cancer sufferer will recognise the fact that wherever we go we always have to keep an eye as to what facilities are available should we get caught short. I have a great mental list of where all the better public toilets are in most of the shopping centres locally should I feel the need! However I found myself in a less than desirable establishment recently but something caught my eye that really made me chuckle. Whilst sat reading the usual scribblings on the walls suggesting who I might like to telephone for sexual gratification or declaring certain peoples sexual orientation I spotted a little ditty underneath a rather well drawn charicature of the great bard himself that went something like this...

Whoever it is that writes on these walls,
Must have their brains between their balls,
As even Shakespeare with all his wit,
Wouldn’t write where people s#!t.

It made me laugh! So I’ll leave you all with that thought and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year!