It's been a while but I've been having my life saved. It's been hellish. For those with a strong constitution, read on.
I was going to blog about my op beforehand, but I was too scared. Now it's done I can tell you I've had a neobladder made. Basically my cancerous bladder has been removed and a new bladder has been made out of my bowel. It's a big op. A really big op. If I hear another doctor telling me surgery doesn't get much bigger, I'll scream. Believe me, I know. I'll feel the after effects for months. It means I'll pee like your average Joanna but I have to train this bladder so accidents are bound to happen. I won't be staying in any hotels for a while.
The op was at UCLH (University College London Hospital) and I was fortunate enough to be operated on by the UK's leading surgeon in this field. And his robot. I couldn't have hoped for a better team and for that I am eternally grateful.
But God, it's been horrible. Here is my experience in a nutshell:
Op, bleugh, morphine, blur, leaking catheters, getting better, hideous infection, possible complication, tube up nose to stomach, threats of more surgery, threats retracted, antibiotics, getting better, bad bum, CDiff, isolation, getting better, meltdown, home, multiple meltdowns trying to manage equipment (tubes, catheters while neobladder heals), depression, hysterical visit to Whipps Cross, another hospital stay there (excellent care and good food), another infection, turn a corner, feel a bit better and here we are.
The physical pain I'd expected. What I hadn't factored in was the effect on my mental health. I wasn't prepared to be robbed of my personality, my desire to eat, read, socialise, laugh, engage and talk. I hadn't expected it to remove my entire will to live so I just sat there day after day, looking my mum, sister and boyfriend in the eye – the three people who put their lives on hold to be with me every step of the way – and told them repeatedly and with total and utmost honesty that I wish I was dead for this was not a life I wanted to continue living.
I'm meeting with the psychologist this week.
But here I am, alive, eating, not yet reading but seeing friends, not wishing myself dead and now blogging. I said I would blog when I could see a light at the end of the tunnel and when I squint, in the distance, there's a chink amidst the clouds.
I'm officially cancer free. They got the bugger out. However, they want to adopt a 'belt and braces' approach and thus chemo is on the cards. I'm not looking forward to it but if it means getting this bastard once and for all, so be it. I'm lucky the treatment is there. Which brings me to my final point:
A polite note to Jeremy Hunt
You total shithead. I've just had my life saved by the NHS. I saw consultants seven days a week; I saw junior doctors at 7.30 in the morning and the nurses were rushed off their feet with their knackering 12 and a half hour shifts. Why anyone would do any of those jobs is beyond me but I'm so bloody glad they do. I'm glad I'm ill now and not when I'm older when you and your cronies have destroyed the NHS. Do piss off and take your misinformed judgements with you.