The operation / The aftermath / What’s next?

Hi everyone,

First of all, a massive thank you to everyone for all of the messages of encouragement and good luck. Much appreciated.

As you are all reading this, I’m alive, I’m Well. I am actually, really good thanks.

The operation was a success according to the Mr Coyne (surgeon) and his staff. Though they had warned me, should they not be able to lift the bowel, a colostomy wouldn’t be possible and an Ileostomy would have been the only option. The former is always the preferred method of providing a stoma and the latter used as a last resort. There are millions of stoma patients out there too. In the UK that’s as many as 6,000,000. That’s 1 in 500, yep. Total shocker to me too.

The good news I was given in recovery was that they *were* able to give me the colostomy as the bowel lifted perfectly during the operation and they were able to make their loop.

Just an FYI on the Colostomy/Ileostomy thing as people have asked.
Colostomy = Stoma connected to your large intestine.
Ileostomy = Stoma connected to your small intestine.
The large intestine has jobs, extract vitamins such as B12 and water from your stool. You are going to have a liquid poop if you bypass the large intestine.

The aftermath eh?

When you hear people talk about getting a stoma you’ll often hear that they “wished they’d done it years prior,” “It gave me a new lease on life.”, “Gave them their life back” etc

Though it is far too early to tell, that and fact that I’m a superstitious idiot, and always have been. I don’t wanna hex it.
I’m also not gonna say it’s the miracle cure because it was never a cure. This was about making me comfortable and open up opportunities for further treatment.
I will say that it has really helped with the issues I have been experiencing.

I am certainly not pain free but…I am in a fraction of the pain I was in a couple of days ago.
The constant need to go to the bathroom isn’t there currently which is an absolute godsend. There were multiple causes for this but we have fixed some of it, it would appear.

I’m going to be in hospital for a few more days, till Tuesday at the earliest. I have the stoma bag attached at the moment, but I won’t expect it to start working for a couple days.
The way I had it explained by the surgery team is that your bowels can go to sleep (into a shutdown state if you will) This is totally reversible by mainly moving round. They recommend getting you up into a seated position at the least. Laying in bed isn’t going to help.

Once they remove a few tubes from me and I can get a pair of PJ’s on. I’ll take a stroll around the labyrinth that is this hospital.

So really, that’s where we are up to at the moment. The staff here at the R.V.I Newcastle are a special bunch. I’ve been really looked after and I have no illusions about the future care I will be receiving here either.


Go on…

Why didn’t I do this a couple years ago and save myself a couple years of deteriorating misery?

*mumbles swear words under his breath*

So moving on from here the plans are to get me on the aforementioned new targeted cancer drug Regorafenib (Stivarga) which targets Gastro Intestinal stromatolites cancers (GIST) and liver cancers. I have telephone interviews with Dr’s Pedley and Hashme at the Freeman hospital where I’ll be having my radiotherapy and as far as I know, the new drug is given to me in pill form and a specific regime for taking it.
Take for X days, rest for Y days, recommence after Z days.
I know that this one is taken after eating a meal.

This drug is a cancer blocker. It prevents the cancers from forming new blood vessels which they need to be able to grow and spread.

The Radiotherapy will be similar, from memory. Monday through Friday were treatment days and the weekend being rest days. Last time it was a total of 28 sessions. Though I don’t remember Ian (Dr Pedley) saying how much radiotherapy I’d be having this time but I’m sure he’ll explain when I speak to him on the phone.

So there we go. Small little update and an upbeat one at that.

Though I’m down playing how much pain I am in right now. They give the painkillers when required here. So I am in good hands.

That’ll do for now.


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