I am new to this forum and I can't seem to stop writing posts.
Who is PhilPepper? I am Phil. Pepper is my stoma. I tried to avoid naming it, but it just had to happen.
So after an unexpected diagnosis, a few scans, a few blood tests, and finally a surgical consult, I checked in for my lower bowel resection. That was Thursday and now it's 1:30 am following Tuesday.
As my title suggest, I could be cancer free since the nice doctor cut it out. However, I guess I have the DNA to always be at risk, and it may have been so advanced that surgery is only the first step in my treatment. The reality is, I am a cancer patient for life and I just had surgery to buy me some time. This doesn't seem to be such a difficult scenario but I am struggling. I can't tell you how much I just want it gone.
I am hoping for the best. In 12 weeks they will reverse my ileostomy and life will return to almost normal. Followed up by regular and thorough checks.
There are people I want to be here for.
Just replying to myself to extend my brief introduction to less brief.
Release from hospital today. Still going through a lot and suffering pain. But that is all surgical related. Apart from having a stoma and bag hanging off the front of me, my suffering hasn't been the result of cancer. It was silently killing me in the background , mostly unnoticed. I may have experienced all this trauma if I was having my appendix out. So it's kind of like it doesn't count. Like I shouldn't complain. I had cancer, it was cut out and now it's just surgery pain to worry about.
I am still experiencing that voice telling me, don't be soft, harden up, just ignore it. I think it's called Man Disease. I thought Dr Corbett beat that to death with my diagnosis, but obviously not. I think I'm going to be fighting with myself a lot. Being cancer free doesn't mean I'm no longer a cancer patient. I still have a stoma. I still have an upcoming surgery. I still have a major change in lifestyle ahead. I may still need chemo. I may still have early signs of cancer in my lungs. Let's not mention the emotional burden so far and yet to come.
Cancer free, not cancer patient free. It's not hard to reconcile. Cancer patient for life, however long or short it may be. I guess the goal is to reach the highest point where quantity and quality meet; and try to not get hit by the bus before then.
On a lighter note... do you like my profile picture? This is Sally, my nine year old cavalier king Charles. She is Daddy's princess and she has been missing me like crazy. Looking forward to going home for cuddles.
I'm a dog person. Post me photos of your four legged friends.
Welcome to the community @PhilPepper
It's lovely to have you here! I'm Kate, the Online Community Manager here, so you'll see me about from time to time.
I hope that your recovery from surgery goes well, what's the next step after this?
I must admit, I absolutely love your profile picture. Sally is gorgeous!! I am also a dog person, I've grown up with dachshunds, unfortunately the last one passed away a number of years ago whilst I was pregnant with my eldest child. We've now got 2 kids and just starting to think about getting a dog again. We're lucky other close members of the family have some lovely kelpies amongst others so the kids get to enjoy them in the interim.
Puppy stories need photos.
My next step is recover from surgery, while waiting for pathology to come back. I will see my surgeon in 4 weeks, but if chemo is needed, I don't know when it is supposed to start. Still a little fuzzy in that area.
Also, in the meantime, is learning how to manage an ostomy bag at home, then at work. It's a crappy situation, but poo jokes are on the rise in my family. Despite being a little pun-gent.
I guess that's extension 3. Getting less brief.
You nailed it. That's what I'm experiencing. However, dog rule.
So I found out yesterday arvo that the cancer was in a single solitary piss-ant little lymph node. So it's off to chemo for me. So now I have an appointment with an oncologist later this month. Chemo will start around 6 weeks post surgery.
I'm not sure exactly when I started thinking this fight would be a cake walk. The news zapped a lot of strength. I've started getting angry at people checking up on me to see how I am. I guess I'm angry.
Great to hear you are up and about. Hope you get rid of your pepper soon.
Today is end of week 4 since my surgery. Still hurts a little but otherwise in great spirit. No chemo recommended for me. I have now been transferred to urology department to further investigate my kidney issue. Appointment is in two weeks and I am very nervous about it. Life is still on hold for me for now. Can’t plan anything until I know what my kidney needs, if anything.
I am impressed with your humour and positivity. Please keep it up.
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