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Life Blog – All Good With Consultant

Today is 5 weeks (35 days) since my second liver operation. After the first liver rescetion, I went back to work after 36 days which would be tomorrow. Well it frustrates me to say that there is no way that I could go back to work tomorrow this time around. Don’t get me wrong I am definitely on the mend and healing nicely but it is more up and down this time round. On Saturday I was very active , felt great and even saw  a load of old mates at a MINI pub meet, which was brilliant, yet on Sunday I had a lousy headache all day, felt sick most of the day  and had a tummy that was very tender. This morning, it looks like being a good day!

Anyway, Friday was a busy day. First we took Ola to the vets for her annual check up. She was fine but had lost a bit of weight since her last visit, so we had her wormed and will try and plump her up a bit with some tempting food. The pair of us are big softies though and the drive to the vet’s, listening to her crying in her box in the car, was frankly just heartbreaking. At the vet’s though she was a good girl and seemed to understand that no-one was going to hurt her so she was better on the drive home. We truly are a nation of animal lovers and how anyone could hurt an animal is beyond me.

Lunchtime saw us leave for a consultation with my liver gurru at the Queen Elizabeth hospital at 2 pm. This went like clockwork and we were being seen dead on 2. Everything was fine.  The cancer was about 3cm in size – scary considering it wasn’t even visible on a scan 6 months before the operation! They had got it all out with very good margins and it was not near any blood vessels which is also good. No chemotherapy is needed, they will see me in 3 months time and scan me 6 months from date of the operation so the end of September. I am off to the south of France for a holiday and to complete my post op recovery and then return to work on the 16th May and hopefully just a normal life for a wee while.

After the consultation we headed for my Mum’s in Chester, the thinking being that we were well on the way already being in Birmingham. Boy was that a toughie! 6pm we landed at my Mum’s. Mum wont mind me saying she is 80 but her husband Anthony is 87 and he is not well at all just now. He was taken into hospital himself on Wednesday, very tired and worn out, so they are doing tests to find out what the problem is. We hope he perks up and gets back home soon.  Our visit then came at the right time for Mum who appreciated our company and the good news from my consultation. We enjoyed a meal out on Friday night at her local The Running Hare ( Mum’s local – that notion makes me smile – Mum the boozer, as if!) and Saturday morning we all enjoyed a cooked breakfast.

1pm saw us heading back to Malvern via a visit to the Asda and this time Thank God we had a good traffic jam free run and got home to Ola  and Alfie at 4pm. 7pm saw us at Fromebridge Mill just off Junction 13 of the M5 for a NewMINISeverns pub meet. This is our favourite MINI club and it was a brilliant evening with a great turnout of old hands and new club members. It was great for us to catch up again with some old friends who had come to our wedding – Tony and Marilyn, Aston and Matt and Becca as well as Debs and Nibby and Scooby Doo and everyone else whose head is just filled with all things MINI.

That then was a really busy couple of days and I felt great all through it, so why come Sunday did I feel so washed out? Not to worry every day heads in the right direction and it helps getting excited about our holiday in the South of France and the MINI United festival that we are going to while we are there! Bring it on!

Keep smiling and stay tuned so I can brag about my holidays with a few photos here and there!:)



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Life Blog – Treading Water

 It is three weeks today since my liver resection and perhaps it is my impatience but I see little improvement since this time last week when I had the staples taken out from the cut. Bottom line is I still can’t concentrate for long enough to even attempt to read a book and any more than 5 minutes playing on an iPad or iPhone makes me feel sick. The best way to describe it is to say it is like car sickness. My tummy remains very tender, my breathing is still not great and I quickly get puffed out and there is still a fair amount of pain.

On the plus side, last time I had the operation I was able to return to work part time after 36 days and I got upset this morning thinking it was 4 weeks (28 days) since my operation and that there was no way on earth I could even contemplate a return to work say a week on Wednesday but when I checked properly it is still only 3 weeks since the operation so I am perhaps not too far behind the scale of recovery from last time. Another thing that is better is my ability to sit in a car and be driven around. This was absolute torture at this stage last time but this weekend I managed a round trip to Bicester to see The Elf and Fandango and I managed that quite comfortably. The motorways aren’t so bad it is the potholes on the  B roads that get me!

I even managed a light lunch in a Thai restaurant on Saturday which pleased me no end on two counts. First, it was yummy and secondly I managed it with no trouble at all.  My new pain from today is coughing and sneezing which now makes me feel like I will pop and both are really painful.

Fandango gave us some geek toys too which made my day. First a new bumper for my iPhone. not much you might say but the original one would not let the 3.5mm jack plug into it and now this one will, so ITunes music in the car is back on the menu. Wow we forgot how good the iconic Dirty Woman single sounds in a car! Secondly he gave us a neat gadget an infra red repeater. This is great because our TV sound comes through an amp behind a glass screen and we could not change the volume as the  remote could not penetrate the glass doors. Now we can do this. Such a simple thing you might say but  wow when you can’t turn volume down from your remote it is a real pain!

Right gotta go it is siesta time – have fun all! :)

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Life Blog – Off With The Staples

Easter Monday 9th April 2012. It is exactly two weeks since my second liver resection operation and today the District Nurse called to remove the staples from my scar – all 45 of them!

Vanity has kicked in and I have to say they did a really good job of putting me back together and the scar is healing beautifully. It was nothing like as good as this the first time and with the benefit of hindsight we can guess that this was due to the effects of chemotherapy still lingering in my body. I have no plasters or protection on this and frankly it is a very very neat job. Will I be able to tell my Shark stories on beaches next month on holiday? Well to be honest if it carries on healing this well it will definitely water down my tall tales!

I’m still nauseous from time to time, I’m still tender and I still fall asleep at the blink of an eye but so far it is all going well!

Tomorrow though is going to be a toughie – Dentist first thing for a check up! Help I’m terrified! :)


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Life Blog – Warning Horror Photo Avoid If Squeamish

Leave if you are squeamish. Many of you will know I have just had an operation on my liver as part of a fight with The Big C. This is my second liver resection and many of you will have seen the photo of the first one.This is a victory in the campaign and I apologise to those who find this photograph distasteful but it is an integral part of my life and my battle. My treat on Monday is to have everyone of those 45 staples removed!

My first cut was about 2 inches less on the horizontal but this one has 45 rather than 48 staples. From a personal point of view I am disappointed to note that my tummy is more wobbly this time round than the first time round in May 2011! At the bottom is a photo of the first cut for comparison.

I am now 11 days after the operation and my recovery is coming along nicely. The operation was on Monday the 26th March and I came out of hospital on Sunday the 1st April – clearly they were just clearing out all the fools! This was one day more than for the first operation last May. By comparison with the first operation, I am more breathless after this one, yet more mobile and in less pain. The scar is also healing much quicker than the first time round too. The personal 1 on 1 nursing of Mrs P since I have come home has also without doubt doubled the rate of my recovery and such love is both gratifying and humbling but without doubt this is the essence of life – yes Big C is a part of my life now – but  Mrs P will always sideline it. Always.

The anaesthetic and painkillers have had a strong effect on me this time, so don’t think I have been taking it all easy. I can fall asleep for twenty minutes and in that time I can save the world twice! Yes the dreams can be very vivid and at times disturbing, but now I am just on paracetamol, so the world will have to save itself for a while! Concentration though is very low just now too.

Anyway that’s it for now keep smiling, wish me luck and  be brave in the face of these pictures!