I would like to say a big thank you to the Scottish NHS for their Bowel Cancer Screening home testing kit and to all the nurses, staff and surgical team of the Victoria Hospital Glasgow for their skill and dedication that pulled me through an operation to removed cancerous parts of my colon. Thank you to all you lovely well wishers that have sent me cards and enquired about me during my stay in hospital. Also a special thanks to my district nurses who are tripping in and out everyday to tend my wound and get me back to full health again. My recovery at home continues and will do for several months. It is not at all pleasant for my wife Margaret who has been nursing me through such an ordeal. I really don’t know what I would do without her.
The full story.
Out of the blue I got a bowl cancer testing kit sent to me by the Scottish NHS. I had no symptoms or reason to suspect I had any problems connected with my bowels.
The completed test was sent to Dundee and I thought no more about it. Ten days later I received a letter telling me I had blood in my stools and was offered an appointment for a Colonoscopy the next week. The doctor that completed the colonoscopy took samples from polyps and lesions in my bowls that did not look to good.
By telephone I was offered a CT scan and within two weeks of that I was seen by my surgeon a Mr Hair at the New Victoria Hospital in the Southside of Glasgow.
Mr Hair was as straight as he could be with me and said “you already know you have lesions in your bowels and I’m afraid they are cancerous and will need to be removed” When pushed he said I would have about 2 years if I did not have this op. Mr Hair went on to say that he was confident that he could remove this cancer and that in his opinion I would not possibly need any follow up.
There was a real danger.
I have always been overweight and was 26stones at the time. I have arthritis of the spine and need a wheelchair to get around so I was terrified he was going to rate me unsuitable for this life saving operation. I asked if I could go on a crash diet or something like that but he said the op could not wait that long and for every 200 persons that have tried only about 4 have succeeded.
He did agree to do the op and the next week I was admitted into the Old Victoria Hospital Glasgow which was directly across the road from the new one. This was on the 8th September 2009 the op scheduled for the following morning.
Although the Victoria is an old hospital the ward was very bright clean and everyone was friendly. in the anethiests room I was prepared for a tracheotomy and epidural. then the next I knew was I was half awake in intensive care in a bed and felt as if I was fighting with the devil. I know I was raving and ranting, but I was alive!
My stay in hospital was not a pleasant one. in fact It was a nightmare and I fought every bit of the way to get out. The real problem was, I was just too fat and heavy for a major operation like this and a stay in a hospital designed for people half my weight and size.
The nurses and staff could not have been more helpful or kinder to me. Although they went out of their way to get me a special bed for my size, it was the most uncomfortable backbreaking contraption I have ever slept in. Having arthritis in my spine did not help at all.
If I was not so overweight this operation would not have been the nightmare it was. The recovery will take months as the wound has opened and needs to be treated daily.
22 Alness crescent
Glasgow G52 1PJ
0141 882 5658