Saw Mr Arbuckle (call me James) this evening. Very very nice chap. He’s analysed my CT scan and is ready to explain the results.
The last few days my headache has returned – I now think I only thought it had gone due to the sedatives – it’s most definitely back. I’ve been back on the iron tablets since Sunday but because the life cycle of red blood cells is something like 100 days, it takes a week or two before it starts to have an effect, so I’ve actually been getting worse again by the day. I’m also weak and tired, and a little preoccupied.
I’ve not been particularly emotional – I guess I was waiting for this evening. But I have found as it gets closer that its been playing on my mind more and more, so the invitation by a friend to go and see Bond’s latest adventure Skyfall (go and see it – brilliant) was very welcome.
It’s funny how very very aware you become of what you eat when you have news like this. Bowel cancer itself can also cause weightloss, but arguably it’s a fairly severe solution. I have dropped however from 17st 7 (yes, I’m fat) down to 16st 9. Can’t say I feel better for it, but I look better.
Fatty meets Arbuckle
So back to tonight. Mr Arbuckle welcomes my wife and I warmly and gets a little history from me. He says that yes, I do have bowel cancer, and he is going to give me an operation and remove it. He will perform a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy to remove the section of my bowel in which the cancer sits, and a significant portion either side – its cancer, don’t really wanna muck around being conservative about it – and the lymph nodes which supply the affected area of my bowel. He’ll join the two remaining ends leaving me with a functioning but shorter bowel. He will then send it all off for examination which will turnaround in about a week – if they find my lymph nodes are clear then I’m done, if not then chemo is likely. But he thinks it is curable.
That’s pretty good news. In fact this is the best possible outcome I could have hoped for.
I’ll be in hospital most likely for a week and then back home. It will be an ‘enhanced recovery programme’ which basically means they will encourage me to return to normal eating habits as quickly as possible so I return to health. I could be back on my feet in less than a month.
And this all happens on Tuesday. I have to have bloods done in the meantime, and I may need a transfusion at the weekend as a result. But six days from now I could be cancer free.
So a bowel cancer grew, started bleeding, made me anaemic. The anaemia caused me a headache and severe flu symptoms which drove me to see a doctor. An observant doctor suggest getting my bloods done and as a result identified my anaemia which needed investigating. As such, this has been caught early and my chances of survival are very high.
Listen to your body. A headache that lasts three days when you don’t get headaches is not right. A change to your bowel habits has a reason. Do not ignore these things.