Hi all, my story hopefully not to boring but an insight, I am 11 months post op from an esophagectomy operation, we take life for granted a lot of the time until something goes wrong with our health, I was 3 stone overweight for years and living with a large hiatus hernia, I ate what I wanted and when I wanted with no real discipline, until one day I felt a twinge in my throat when I swallowed which gradually got worse, I thought it must be an ulcer, a visit to the doctor resulted in a supply of lanzopral tablets and a revisit if things didn't improve within 10 days, no improvement, a revisit to a different doctor, who arranged an endoscopy three weeks later,at Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth, Oct 2011, they discovered a large tumour in my gullet, I have to admit it was a shock, they showed me a picture of the tumour, my wife and I were asked to spend a while to discuss the outcome with the team, and what would follow, from that moment my feet never touched the ground, Ct scans, PET scans, a visit to surgeon who confirmed it was operable,oncology specialist, to discuss forward chemo with a pic line treatment, a short operation to insert a tube in my intestine and a stretch of the gullet to enable swallowing being easier, I was advised to gain/,maintain weight and exercise which I duly did, the the medical team were fantastic, from the oncology specialist, UGI specialist nurse, surgeons, who explained in great detail what the stages were, Chemo 10 weeks had no severe side effects ,apart from hair loss, the only niggle was the pump which I had to carry everywhere, connected to the pic line, I purchased a small camera bag which I attached to my belt, the day of the operation crept slowly toward me, until finally one early Monday morning 6.30 am, I went in for pre op, set up and escorted to the theatre by the UGI nurse and my wife, I had switched off mentally and accepted the next stages and handed my self mentally and physically to the team, I happen to be a Bee-keeper and the anaesthetist was also a Bee-keeper which we discovered during the banter, whilst being given an epidural (recommended), 10 hours later being wheeled to ITC blurred faces coming into focus, no pain but breathing and shortness of breathe,
1 day in ITC then a day in high care, then on the ward, for eight days, no pain, the control was brilliant, the only discomfort was the visit by the physiotherapist , a very important part of recovery, by day 10 I walked from the hospital. The pathology report came back that the chemo had knocked the tumour out completely and there was no trace of cells elsewhere.
I am now eating better after losing my appetite initially and slowly gaining weight, weight loss 5 stone from sixteen half stone, now 12 stone 3lb, stamina increasing, Beekeeping maintained, appetite increasing ( savoury preferred, Bovril a favourite) sugary things give me an uncomfortable tummy. Still taking lanzopral. To close this blog, (did I hear a sigh of relief ) I am now setting up a support group for the hospital with the help of the OPA, and the medical team at their suggestion, I will never take life for granted again and live every day as a New Beginning, cancer hates positive thought. Good luck to all the patients and I am happy to exchange emails with any one who wants some support.