This post appears at this time due to news that I received yesterday, which while not entirely unexpected was nevertheless excellent to receive. We start with a…
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
This is a story that has been ten months unfolding, the key dates being (as far as I can remember them):
- October 5th 2018 – Early return from work due to illness.
- October 6th 2018 – Trip to Godalming to visit my mother and see the town cancelled due to illness.
- October 8th 2018 – Hospitalized, so weakened that a saline drip was needed to get me from the flat I was living in (two outside staircases, one of them spiral, from street level) to a waiting ambulance.
- October 9th-11th 2018 – Investigations reveal that the mystery illness is in fact stage 4 testicular cancer and that there are a number of metastases, including large tumours attacking both lungs (the brain and spleen are also host to smaller tumours).
- October 12th 2018 – Bluelighted to Addenbrookes just in time to save me from an operation that had it been performed at that time would probably have seen the end of my life.
- October – December 2018 – Once stabilized there follows a seven week period of intensive chemotherapy to deal with the tumours.
- December 9th – discharge from Addenbrookes, arrive at new bungalow in North Lynn to begin recuperation.
- December – January – in and out of Addenbrookes for various reasons, including an internal bleed caused by blood thinners working too effectively.
- February – March 2019 – a couple of admissions to QEH for breathing difficulties (the second certainly brought on by anxiety)
- April – July 2019 – A period of consistent improvement, assisted by regular physio sessions at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, leading to:
- July 12th 2019 – At Addenbrookes for operation to remove the testicle that was the cause of all the trouble.
- August 1 2019 – New physio sessions at Tapping House start.
- August 5 2019 – CT Scan at Addenbrookes, although due to my veins not co-operating (six failed attempts) they cannot inject the usual contrast medium.
- August 9th 2019 – appointment with clinical psychologist Dr Amy Daglish at QEH, leading to the arrangement of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy sessions which will start at end of August.
- August 12th 2019 – appointment with Dr Danish Mazhar at Addenbrookes. Brings the hoped for and almost expected news that I am officially clear of cancer. My next appointment is two months away, and they will be steadily decreasing in frequency, although I will continue to be checked on for the next 10 years. On the way home I arrange to visit NAS West Norfolk’s allotment in West Lynn, where a sensory path is being laid that afternoon.
Another bulleted list as I do not wish to give these an official ranking order:
- All the staff at Addenbrookes who were part of my recovery from oncology consultants Dr Danish Mazhar and Dr Han Wong through all the nurses I encountered to all the wonderful support staff who helped at various times. Also and overarching this to that great institution that made it all possible – The NHS.
- My family, who have been incredibly supportive through all this.
- NAS West Norfolk who have been incredible throughout this very difficult period. The comments in response to the announcement on their facebook pages of my ‘all clear’ have been amazing to read. It will not be too long now before you have a fully functioning branch secretary again.
- James and Sons of Fakenham who have kept my job open for me through all this time – I expect to return to work in the spring of next year (given the damage to my lungs returning to that workplace during the winter months seems not to be sensible).
- Various of my fellow bloggers who have been very supportive through these months (you all know who you are!).
For pretty much the first time since becoming ill I now look to the future with confidence rather than mere hope.
First up, I have just sent an email to the Independent Living Group asking them to include some of my photographs in their Disability Pride Digital Photography exhibition. As well as a link to this blog in the body of the email I attached 10 photographs, one my desktop background image, taken in Cornwall last year, and the other nine recent shots for reasons that should be obvious to anyone reading this post:
Here are some shots from the allotment area:
The remainder of my pictures…
21 thoughts on “The Big C: My Story”
I must admit to a little (happy) tear Thomas, you are an inspiration .
Thankyou for that lovely comment.
Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you’re okay now. Sounds like one heck of a journey and I’m glad you had support. Out of all the photos, I like the peacock butterfly the best.
Thank you for your kind comments. Yes it was quite a journey. I will include the Peacock Butterfly in my 2020 wall calendar.
I love to see butterflies, but the peacock butterfly is my favourite.
Such great news!
Yes it is.
So glad to hear your good news, Tom!
Thank you 🙂
Glad to hear you’re ok!
Reblogged this on Art by Nicole Corrado and commented:
I am so glad you are cancer free! God listens to prayers!
What a journey, Thomas. And what a fabulous outcome. I’m so pleased for you. The future looks bright 🙂
Hi Thomas! Really pleased to read this fantastic news! You have been soo strong – you are a true fighter.
Really sorry for your illness. Best whishes
Thank you – things are going well at the moment.
The pictures are so beautiful 😍❤️