kate bohdanowicz writer

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I'm back - battered, bruised and (almost) broken

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.




Comments (18)

  1. Sarah Palmer manser:
    Nov 08, 2015 at 05:18 PM

    Hi Kate ,
    I'm a friend of Claires and I just want to send you all the love ,hope , and luck in recovery and pray that life can return to a much more livable future full of happy happenings and memories .
    Even though the subject is heartbreaking to read you've made it very human and probabally humorous once the shock has faded .
    I lost both my parents in their 50 s and you're so right - crist we are so lucky to have the amazing nhs . I cannot believe this government , I really really can't ?! I'm so glad your writing again and I look forward to more , you write so well !
    Do you write for a living ? You should do !
    All the very best Kate and don't stop talking - one of the last things my mum said to me was the most important things in life is communication and I think she's right x

  2. Sarah Palmer palmer:
    Nov 08, 2015 at 05:21 PM

    So sorry Kate I can now see you already are an writer ( and bloody good too X)

  3. Kate Bohdanowicz:
    Nov 08, 2015 at 05:31 PM

    Hi Sarah

    Thanks for your lovely comments. I'm sorry to hear you lost your parents so young. Like you, I'm exceptionally grateful to the NHS and I hate what the Tories are doing.

    I'll never stop talking and I'll get better!



  4. Duncan Maclay:
    Nov 08, 2015 at 06:24 PM

    Wow Kate - a whole new slant on getting bladdered. Sorry to hear you have had such a rotten time - sounds almost as awful as working for Desmond. Only came across this because it some Twitter spam but glad I did. Much love and hope you continue to recover from here. Xx

  5. Kate Bohdanowicz:
    Nov 08, 2015 at 07:45 PM

    Thanks Duncan

    I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy - not even Desmond.

    Hope life is treating you well.


  6. Karen:
    Nov 09, 2015 at 09:10 AM

    hi Kate, my friend Zeena shared your post on Facebook, so pleased to hear you are getting there (and writing amusingly about that horrendous journey). Chemo is unpleasant but it's improved a lot (I had it four years ago for breast cancer) and it's so worth it despite the hair loss, nausea etc. Stay strong and keep writing it out of your system! Wishing you a speedy recovery, Karen x

  7. Kate Bohdanowicz:
    Nov 09, 2015 at 09:31 AM

    Hi Karen

    Glad to hear you got through it and hope you're all clear. My type of chemo doesn't involve hair loss (or so I've been told). So that's an upside.

    I suppose it's a small price to pay to blast the bugger out.



  8. Wendy:
    Nov 09, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Excellent piece, Boll

  9. Kate Bohdanowicz:
    Nov 09, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Thanks Wendy

  10. Kirsty:
    Nov 09, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    Great piece Kate, I cried and laughed and all the things that go to prove that you are an amazing brave and brilliant person and you can't half write too! The Tories have to go.. I cannot agree more.. Please do fuck off Jeremy Hunt..

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