Isn't it funny how time flies when you're having fun, not! I thought I'd put something on my blog as I have had a few phone calls and a couple of people have asked if I would put something on my blog.
Things all kicked off for me on Jan 27th when I was operated on, the operation took over 4 hours and involved removing the tumour, lymph nodes, reconnecting the colon and creating a stoma (bag). When I first came round all I could see was loads of tubes, wires and bottles / bags of fluid going into me, I reckon you could have picked up radio 1 on me. I was not allowed to eat food for 3 days and so I was just sipping water, but as I couldn't sit up I had to always ask a nurse to fill up the cup for me. I was amazed when on Friday a physio came in and asked me to get out of bed, my stomach was swollen and all the muscles shot through being cut in half, but she was serious! I was helped to a sitting position and just managed to get my legs over the edge of the bed, then using my hands pushed myself up to stand. This was all very painful! I was then asked to walk, so holding onto the drip stand and the nurse on the other side I took some steps, my left leg was not working properly due to being numb from the pain relief, so I kind of dragged it. I had to repeat this twice a day, and it did gradually get easier.
On Tuesday 1st Feb I was doing so well that the docs said I could probably go home on Thurs, that was the kiss of death! I got an infection and was put on antibiotics, it wasn't until the following Monday I was allowed to go home. I met some nice people on the ward, Pete an ex copper was next to me and we kept each others spirits up, he had a 12 hour op! It was sad to see a couple of older guys who were taken off to homes because they didn't have much time left in the world. The nurses on this ward were fantastic, all of them were great and we had some laughs. I was also cheered up by family and friends who visited, among them Glenn Bailey, Ade Crawley, Andy Curry and Warren Bates, thanks to them all because you really do look forward to the visits.
D Day for me was Friday 4th of Feb, this was when I was visited by a support nurse to be told about the outcome of the surgery. I was rather nervous as she sat on my bed, but then she said "I've got good news!", the tissue they removed either side of the tumour had no cancer cells, my blood samples had no cancer cells, and of 11 lymph nodes removed only one had some cancer cells in it. As a result it had been decided that I do not need any further treatment, best news I could have hoped for!!!! It was great that on the day three of us all got the same result, so we could all celebrate by watching England win the rugby!
After I came home I started to get serious pain in the back passage, and on Tuesday 14th Feb I had to see the Stoma nurses at the BRI. They took one look at me and said you're not right and I was readmitted to hospital. An abscess had formed and I was full of pus, I have a catheter fitted where the sun don't shine to get rid of the pus and it won't come out till next Tues. Well I got a pair of catheters cos my bladder ain't right so I got one coming out of the old man too!
So now I am home (for good I hope) and it is just a case of taking it easy and steadily building myself up, which could take 2 to 3 months they say, we'll see. Then it will be a visit to the BRI every 6 months for 5 years to see if the cancer has stayed away or come back. Of course at some stage it is hoped that I can be reconnected internally and the bag removed, but that may not be for a couple of years. So when I get back on the bank you might not want to be down wind of me when I empty my bag cos it stinks!
Thanks again to everyone who called me or text me whilst I was in hospital, it really makes you feel a lot better. Oh and one last thing, hospital food is shite! See you on the bank when it's warmer!
RIP Paul Garrett, you've gone far to early. Thank you for all the advice you gave me at Viaduct, you were a very nice bloke. Thinking of Josh and the rest of the family.