I've never written a blog before, so please bear with me.
On the 19th December last, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and non small lung cancer , both completely separate types. I was 71 years of age at this time, very fit, I thought and healthy. No thoughts of cancer.
On the 12th January, 2012, I underwent keyhole surgery to remove the cancer from my bowl, together with a section of diverticulitis. I was released from hospital within 3 days and began a quick recovery. On the 12th February, I underwent a further operation to remove part of my left lung, but the surgeon found that the cancer had spread into the bronchus and this necessitated the removal of the full lung. Fortunately, the cancer was not found in the lymph nodes or elsewhere and was staged at T2 N0. As everything had gone well, I was released from hospital within 6 days of the operation. I very quickly started to feel quite well, apart from a shortage of breath.
Arrangements were made following the operations for me to receive adjuvant chemotherapy; this to consist of 4 sessions, each over a 3 week period. Following two full sessions, I was re-admitted to hospital suffering from an internal bleeding. After a few days, this ceased and I was discharged from hospital with no treatment being deemed necessary. In fact the source of bleeding could not be determined at this time. The third round of chemotherapy was then administered. On the 2nd June, a further internal bleed meant another hospital stay and later that day an emergency operation as I was losing large amounts of blood. The bleeding was found to be in the bowel at a point where it was suspected there was thickening of the bowel wall, due to Crohn’s disease. This in turn had affected a nearby main artery and caused it to bleed. Eight units of blood transfusion was received and I ended up with a stoma for company. It is thought that the chemotherapy may have been responsible for the bleeding, but this is not conclusive.
At this stage the oncologist decided not to pursue the last course of chemotherapy. Boy, was I pleased!
The last operation, which was open surgery, caused some of my bowel to be removed which controls the intrinsic exchange of vitamin B12 into the bloodstream. As a result of this, I have received 5 injections, one every other day, and will probably have to have a booster injection every three months from now.
In spite of all the above, I have remained positive and can see that the future can hold some excitement and pleasure.