What a year it’s been. And busy!
I started the year with radioactive spheres in my liver and a six-month course of chemo-therapy. There have been 3-monthly CT scans to plot the progress of the liver. Fortunately these have shown amazing improvement. We moved to Nelson in April and concluded that course of chemotherapy here. I then endured 6 weeks of radiation therapy in Christchurch followed by an equally painful 6 weeks of recuperation back in Nelson before ending the year with major surgery in Nelson Hospital. The surgery on 24th November removed the rectal tumour (the primary tumour) and sealed off my back end forever. The surgeon also did a 17cm cut down my front to inspect my insides and also inserted a permanent stoma to the left of my navel.
It is now 5 weeks on from that major surgery and the recuperation process is proving long and slow. Fortunately my peritoneal wound is healing well (I have heard varying reports of 50% – 80% of these wounds reopen). It is still very uncomfortable to sit down for long. My stomach still feels as if a massive indignity has been perpetrated on it and I am very careful in using my stomach muscles – very tender. The massive lifestyle adjustments of emptying and changing colostomy bags is getting better. I have a new bag that seems to cause less skin reaction than the first bags I was given.
And so forward into 2010! What will it hold?
Hopefully a clearer and more productive road to travel. I do know I am to have a further course of chemotherapy to ‘mop up’ any stray cancer cells left in my body. When, and for how long, I may find out next week when Bronwen and I again travel to Christchurch for our next liver CT scan and update.