I retired from full time employment in 2013 and we bought a motorhome dreaming of travelling around Europe. In 2014 whilst away in the motorhome, I found it painful passing urine and on our return my GP suggested I may have a urinary tract infection and prescribed antibiotics and the problem disappeared.
In December 2014 it re-occurred so my GP, Dr. Inglis, referred me to see a urologist – Mr Rajayaban in Worcester at the Spire Southbank Hospital. He decided to do a camera investigation but whilst waiting for the appointment I experienced a rather traumatic discharge of blood and tissue whilst urinating. After various scans I was diagnosed with bowel and bladder cancer. I had a ten-hour operation on 25th April, 2015. Mr Makar was the surgeon for the bladder and Mr Zilvetti for the bowel. The bladder was open surgery and the bowel was done keyhole. The surgery was successful and I recovered within a few weeks, and had CT scans every six months.
In 2018 after a routine blood test the doctors were concerned about my cancer markers so I had another CT scan then an MRI and finally a PET scan at the Cobalt Centre in Cheltenham. In January 2019 I was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) by Mr Cecil at Basingstoke. I had my cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC (CRS/HIPEC) in Basingstoke in June 2019 as it was the only place in the UK that could do the PMP operation and operate on a liver tumour.
The operation was successful including the HIPEC Mr Cecil and Mr Cresswell removed my appendix, gallbladder, omentum, part of my bladder, part of my bowel and part of my liver. I also had a stoma. Unfortunately, I had some infections and remained in Basingstoke for five weeks and during this time lost three stone in weight. It was a very stressful time for my wife and family.
When I returned home to Worcestershire, I felt so weak and I could only walk 100 yards. Within two weeks, I managed half a mile just doing a little bit more each day. By the end of August I was fit enough to fly to Corfu and had a wonderful holiday with my amazing wife. I am delighted to say that in November I had a stoma reversal. I can honestly say that I have felt better and my appetite was better than it had been for years.
My advice to anyone going through this? Firstly, positive attitude, believe and trust in your amazing surgeons their team. The stoma although not pleasant is not that bad and you get confident with the procedure. Just keep moving and do a little bit more each day and enjoy your life, your loved ones and travels.
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This illness sucks but I’m embracing the moment
Just over 18 months ago, I had a full hysterectomy because they thought I had ovarian cancer….
I thought I had a kidney infection
I feel great. I was worried about catching colds and things without my spleen but I’m as healthy as I was before. My son and husband have caught colds but I have not which is normal for us. I have caught a sickness bug from my son since surgery but I recovered quickly with no problems and again compared to what I’ve been through, it felt like nothing.
My stomach looked really distended
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