5th April 2012 it was my birthday , I was 63yrs old. The week before I got a terrible chest infection, which made me feel so horrid I didnt even want a cigarette.
Dont get me wrong, as a true smoker does, I did persevere and try a couple , but didnt enjoy them. So that was the beginning of a very hard and gruelling next few months.
I went to see my doctor , with what I thought was arthritus pains in my legs. He refered me to the hospital. After being examined for about 2 hours from head to foot, I did think
it was a bit strange for pains in my legs. So I had an x ray of my chest before they let me go home. They said thay would send another appointment through the post.
Oh boy! 2 days later I received a letter saying go for a ct scan the following day. due to an abnormality on the x ray.
That was it I was taken into a room where an image of my lungs was on the screen. I knew deep down what was going to be said. The doctor explained I had a tumour on my lung, he was 99% certain it was a cancer. He did try and reassure me that it was contained and should be able to be removed.
After that day my world, and my familys was turned upside down.
Everyday after that seemed to mingle in together. I had numerous x rays , pet scans , and ct scans.
Then one appointment was with the consultant, he explained in full what I had. Yes I had 2 primary tumours. 1 on my windpipe which was pressing on to my main artery to my brain.
He reffered me for an exploratory operation to see how bad this was. As they couldnt operate if it was too dangerous. Then it would have been pallative care. (end of the road).
I had a 3 hour operation. When I came to, the surgeon said he had managed to seperate the cancer from the windpipe and artery, so the big operation could now go ahead.
I then had my whole right lung removed 3 weeks later. I was taken into a high dependency ward for 3 days. I dont remember much as I was in morphine city then.
On my 7th day I was discharged from hospital to go home. Very hard work, and I must admit I had quite a few panic attacks. with breathing and going upstairs.
Eventually I was feeling a lot better and just getting my strength back , when I got an infection where I had had a chest drain. So antibiotics which upset me, nurses to put dressings on.
After 2 weeks I had to go see the consultant again, regarding chemotherapy. She looked at my infection and doubled the antibiotics which made me feel even worse. Told me to come back in 2 weeks to see if I wanted to go ahead with the chemotherapy.
After talking it over, I decided to give chemotherapy a go, It was offered to me as an extra safeguard in case there were any undetectable cancer cells. They told me 1 in 20 people benefit. But it wasnt guaranteed plus there were a lot of risks too.
I went for the chemotherapy, I had 8 hours of it on the first day. I thought it wasnt too bad. Next morning I felt very sickly and had nausea. I got tinnitus in my ears, I couldnt stand any form of food . No I thought I will keep on taking the anti sickness tablets, and I would be ok. I stuck this out for 6 days , but by the Monday when I was due to have a pre-assesment for the next days chemotherapy, I virtually crawled into the hospital and collapsed.
I was on fluids all day via a drip. They eventually sent me home, but wanted to check on me the next morning. Next morning I got out of bed felt sickly again then collapsed back on the bed I just could not stand up.
Back to the hospital. This time they kept me in. I was put on fluids anti-sickness drugs and monitored for 5 days. The consultant came to see me and said NO MORE CHEMOTHERAPY for you. It is far too dangerous for your body.
The way I felt I could have kissed her.
The consultant has been really good , and has checked me for anemia, calcium, given me steroids to get my strength back. They are checking on me every 3 months, for the first year then it will be 6 monthly , then yearly.
I know all of this story may seem boring to you, but if you are trying to stop smoking , may be , just may be , reading what I have been through and being lucky enough to survive, it may encourage you to think IS IT REALLY WORTH SMOKING?
Without quit support and all its members I don`t think I could have kept going. The love and care you all sent was unbelievable. THANK YOU you are all angels.
THINK when the cravings start, is it worth it. I know my answer. I am sure your brain knows the answer too.
love you all. xxxxxxxxxxx