Staples and Stitches are out

May 22, 2010

Having had the news about the blockage being cancer that trumped the other news that on Monday morning I had the staples taken out of the wound.  It was an interesting experience, not really painful, just more uncomfortable with a bit of pulling.  Most of the wound looked good, but there is a section at the top which hasn’t healed yet and is slightly gaping apart, but I’ve been assured by the nurse that this is normal and there isn’t any infection, so it will heal but just needs more time (this is one of the side effects of the steroids I’m on is that things take longer to heal).

I’d also been getting some discomfort and irritation in a couple of places around the stoma where the flange of the bag was interacting with the tails of the stitches in the stoma.  So at yesterday’s stoma check up the stoma nurse removed the stitches which was such a relief as I hadn’t realised how much they had been pulling etc so the bag is now a lot more comfortable when it’s been on for a few hours.

We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by all the support we’ve had the whole way through me being ill but especially over the past few days since we found out about the cancer.  I’ve had lots of visitors and have got a busy day today with some people coming over from church to pray, followed by a couple of the guys I lived with at uni who are coming up from the Woking area for the afternoon and some food.

Things have also been moving on with arranging things for chemo, I’ve got the appointment sorted for having my portacath fitted.  The wheels are also in motion for me to make a deposit at the sperm bank, it’s more of a precaution as the chemo drugs I’ll be on aren’t likely to affect my fertility but there’s always a slight risk, so better be safe than sorry!  I’ve also got my private appointment sorted with the oncologist where I should also have a chest CT scan to make sure there aren’t any lesions anywhere else (the oncologist reviewed my abdominal ct and didn’t find any which is good news as the liver is usually one of the first places it spreads to).

I’m still eating 4 meals a day with lots of snacking in between, so am starting to have enough energy to do a few more things.  Yesterday I was out the house for a couple of hours, with the stoma appointment at the QEII, then into town to do a bit of shopping and buy some bits for the BBQ today and bought a new shirt as I’ve been living in the same two for the past week!  I also had a nice sit in the sun in the back garden and had a few friends come over to see me.  It was probably my busiest day so far and although I was tired in the evening it felt good to have done  a lot.  I’ve also noticed that my cheeks are looking a lot less drawn and gaunt, so I think I must be putting some weight back on.  I forgot to weigh myself first thing this morning but I think I’m around the 10 stone mark now so am slowly putting the weight back on.  I’m really looking forward to the wound being healed now and starting to do some gentle exercise to get some of the muscles back in my legs at least!  My arms haven’t wasted to the same extent as my legs as I was still using them whilst in hospital, whereas the days spent laying in a bed have meant my legs have just wasted away.

And finally……….

Yesterday’s 2 hour trip out the house was the first time I’ve really been able to benefit from having the bag and the predictability that it brings over the ulcerative colitis, and the thought of possibly needing the loo at short notice.  It was so nice to be able to wander around town and not have to worry about where the nearest toilet was and know that I had plenty of time to find one should I need to.  It was quite a liberating experience, having lived with the constant worry of finding a toilet when out somewhere for the past 9 years, being able to wander around without that worry was so nice!




  1. Hi Andy and Ses
    I don’t know you only of you through Steph Bett at your church who asked us to pray for you.
    I just have to say how inspiring I find your blogs. You are both a credit to your faith and I am sure a great help to others who may be going through your situation. I work as a Children’s Nurse and it is helpful to me to know what it is like for a ‘patient’ to cope with this type of thing. We pray for you in our homegroup and will continue to do so, that you make a full and speedy recovery with a long life ahead of you.
    Take Care
    God Bless

  2. I loved the remark about not having to find a bathroom all the time. I am a nurse and my mom has Crohn’s Disease. When I talk to my patients who have either gotten or are about to get a colostomy I talk to them about how it is not necessarily bad to have a colostomy it is just different and point out situations that emphasize the difference like your outing. Thanks Ses for posting this blog on Ravelry, I think that ostomies have been kind of taboo, especially for younger people and it is refreshing to see the realities being discussed in such an upfront manner.

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