A brief history of my 60s so far.
Location:- Somewhere in the south of France. September 2017.
"You really need to do those poo sticks when we get home". I'm getting hassle from Tricia because the 60th birthday present that arrived in July had so far been ignored. We arrive home in October and I do the poo sticks. Now this poo stick business is nothing to do with twigs and bridges, that's Poohsticks.
Poohsticks is a game first mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner, a Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne. It is a simple game which may be played on any bridge over running water; each player drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge and the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is the winner.
The poo sticks I'm talking about are sticks you send samples of your faeces to some poor sod in Guildford for the purposes of bowel cancer screening.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, and following a surprisingly ok episode where a camera was inserted up my bottom, it transpired I actually had bowel cancer.
In November that year I had some pretty major surgery when a 1/4 of my large intestine was removed.
This procedure is referred to as a laparoscopic (keyhole) colectomy – where the surgeon makes a number of small incisions in your abdomen and uses special instruments guided by a camera to remove a section of colon.
This was followed by 3 months of brutal chemotherapy. I obviously survived because I'm writing this in the 1st person and it's now August 2020.
Fast forward to the winter 2019/20 a routine scan shows something, that just maybe sinister, deep in my abdomen. On the 21st of February the magnificent Mr Widdison said it may be nothing to worry about or it might be something nasty that we only have 3 to 6 months to remove it or it'll kill you. On the 2nd of March Mr Widdison removed a mucinous neoplasm.
Appendiceal mucinous neoplasms (AMNs) are rare tumors accounting for less than 1% of all cancers. And just in case you're wondering .....Yes it would have killed me.
I'm now 63. I've just had another routine scan (a few months late but that's another story). On Friday 31st July, two days ago, the colorectal nurse, Claire Ferris (a member of the team looking after me), contacted me.
Yes, well done, you have already worked it out.
So, on Tuesday I'm seeing my new best friend Dr Parnell the oncology specialist to muse over the benefits of another course of chemotherapy to zap a nodule on my liver F.F.S.
From here on in I intend to record the forthcoming events, share anecdotes, random thoughts and any other nonsense that crosses my mind. However, just to put on record, chemotherapy drugs are, as I mentioned earlier, really brutal. And all those chemicals are going to find their way into every single part of my being. Things might get a bit weird.