Confession: as today’s follow up post surgery appointment with the consultant drew near, I had become increasingly nervous about what had been found when the section of bowel which had been removed was examined…did the pathology confirm that I had cancer and, if so, had it spread to the lymph system and would I need further treatment?
Well, no news WAS good news. No sign of cancer. The mass identified on a CT scan was benign, as was the significant stricture which had reduced the diameter of the gut to the extent that not even a paediatric colonoscopy camera could get through the opening to take photos and samples of the mass.
The culprits seem to be diverticula - small pockets or bulges which form in the lining of the gut as you get older - which had become inflamed or infected. These have now gone, along with the 30-31cm section of gut they had formed in, which had been removed by robotic laparoscopic surgery five weeks ago.
I can’t begin to tell you how good it felt to hear those words! Such a relief…phew…normal life can resume, likewise travels when I’ve updated my annual travel insurance to confirm diverticula disease as an existing health condition.
I have absolutely no regrets about having surgery. Without it, I would have been in a constant state of fear that cancer was growing inside me, and the digestive problems - which had already started to make themselves felt in the run up to surgery - would have got worse, probably ending up as complete blockage and an emergency hospital admission.
My mind has also been put at rest on a number of smaller matters. Although not fully healed, the bikini line wound is getting better and will continue to improve; nothing to worry about. I can have a bath (up to now I’ve been showering carefully post-op) and can rub the wound without fear of making it worse. I can also do exercises which put strain on abdominal muscles…just stop if it hurts. Some of the stitches take up to 3 months to dissolve fully (and some isolated material even longer) so I may be aware of them for a while yet. But all perfectly normal.
So that’s it. I have been discharged. They don’t need to see me again. All clear!
A celebration with family and friends is in order I think. Woo hoo!!!