Oesophageal Patients Association
3,364 members2,104 posts

It's Christmas

Well I have now survived into my second year since my diagnosis of OC. What a journey this has been. In no way wishing to appear insensitive to those who may not have been as fortunate as myself, or who are just starting on that journey? I wanted to wish Seasons Greetings and thank those who helped me to get to where I am today.

To Peter Jones who diagnosed me at the Summerfield Hospital In Maidstone , Kent. Peter diagnosed when a CT scan missed the tumour. His belief in his own diagnosis, saved my life. He insisted on an endoscopy and did it himself. He told me the news with great empathy, honesty and courage.

He referred me to the wonderful James Gossage at St Thomas's in London. I could (and maybe should) write a book of superlatives about James and his surgical team. He just never gives up. Every call, email and message, is answered honestly, quickly and with an assurance that just oozes trust. His Transchiatal Oesophagectomy removed my cancer and had me back at home and on the road to recovery within 10 days of admission to St Thomas's. To this day he he still offers to meet me and has personally carried out many dilations (stretches) on my throat and stomach exit. All of these done with no drama's and no discomfort. He reached out to my wife before and after the surgery which was a massive comfort to her and my daughters.

What could I say about the nursing team on the Westminster Ward in St Thomas's? Beautiful, caring and selfless people. They supported us through the surgery and recovery. They allowed me dignity and were just wonderful to us as a family.

To Justin Waters and his Oncology team at Maidstone Hospital who saw me through my various chemotherapy regimes and maybe more than most had to witness my fear and sickness. But they always smiled and always made me feel that I was special.

To the people who give their time on here with encouragement and real life stories that give us all help and hope.

So there you go. Sounds like an OSCARS speech and I have probably missed people but have not meant to.

Have a great Christmas folks.

5 Replies

congratulations, a traumatic diagnosis, a difficult journey, BUT the support, help and kindness that we all experience along the way is difficult to describe but you have done it brilliantly. Happy Christmas. sally


Wow Bruce, that is wonderfully eloquently put. I hope you sent that to your team.



Thank you. I know that some of my team are readers and participants on here so hope that they will read this. Maybe others will follow here and post up there Christmas thoughts. That would be really neat to see other medical teams mentioned.


Merry Christmas to you too Bruce. Many have cause to be grateful to you for your helpful and kind posts on these pages


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Thank you. I could say the same about yourself and most on here. We are the ones who have "lived it" so are probably best positioned to share our experiences , both good and bad. The wonderful doctors & surgeons know what should happen bit that does not always mirror real life.

I find the real life experiences on here remove a huge amount of the fear and uncertainty. In a rather perverse way it is a comfort to now that your pain/fear is also being experienced by somebody else. If they have found a mechanism to deal with that, then this is brilliant information to have and share.

Thanks again for your kind thoughts.


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