After rapidly losing two and a half stones I was eventually diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in September 2012 (four tumours). Sadly, I have been unable to attend our local cancer support group for the last 3 months due to the devastating side effects of chemotherapy treatment; missing you all folks. This weekend I will be going in for high risk surgery (my medical teams words not mine) at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
So far I have been amazingly lucky to have survived:
SCLC (chemo and radiotherapy in 1993)
NSCLC (surgery in 2007)
Basal cell carcinoma (receiving ongoing surgeries and treatments since 2004)
For this my latest and current oesophageal battle I have underwent chemo through September 2012 and now having follow up surgery 18/2/2013.
Due to my age and past cancer history the surgery will be interestingly different for my medical team. Anaesthetising and operating on someone with hardly any lungs left is quite a challenge. However, after some on/off doubts, they have finally agreed on a speculative off the cuff operation and I am sure my brilliant team will rise to the challenge. I am very confident I will be back to my usual old self after a lengthy period of testing rehab.
After the above stats can I just quote ‘Oor Wullie’ a Scots cartoon character?
“Jings, crivvens, and help ma boab!”
Over the years I have now battled 6 different types of cancer. I am now 73 yrs old and live alone since my beloved wife died of this blasted oesophageal cancer in 2000 after two kids and 35 yrs of marriage. Thankfully I still lead a mainly pain free but slower paced, active, interesting life, and always count my blessings rather than dwell on the negatives. Hopefully my history, experiences, battles won and lessons learned, can help motivate and inspire others.
Thanks to some amazing researchers, practitioners and constantly improving modern drugs and treatments, survival rates are increasing year by year. Cancer is on the run and every day is closer to the time when this deadly disease will be beaten. Watching the latest research updates indicates that cancer supremacy days are definitely numbered. We are in an exciting time of extraordinarily rapid medical advances with survival rates increasing monthly. Today’s newly diagnosed will be part of an anticipated unprecedented surge in survivals. It will be 5 years before present day stats are assessed and published, but the profession expect the results to prove that the pendulum is increasingly swinging in the patients favour, and that cancer will soon no longer be feared as an automatic death sentence.
I will be hospitalised for about a month and regretfully won’t be able to update my support group’s website, as I expect to be in considerable discomfort for some time after surgery and don’t know how I will manage things thereafter.
My 20 yrs of fighting cancer and winning is I believe largely down to my use of regular exercise (Isometrics and Aerobics). Throughout all my adult life I have always used exercise (about 30/40 minutes every other day if pos) to maintain a sense of wellbeing and to control and nip in the bud any signs of depression. Even at my advancing age, it is still continuing to work for me.
MY TOP TIP
As a double lung cancer survivor I found reduced lung capacity to be the most debilitating. Unlikely though it may seem I discovered freestyle aerobics to be the best way to improve breathing. Start very slowly with minimum reps and gradually build up speed and duration to 30/40 mins daily. After a months commitment you, family and friends, will all be amazed by your improvement.
***MAKE YOUR WISH***
I will be back in a month
All the very best