Cancer is confirmed. The tumour is confined to the bowel, with no sign of secondary cancers anywhere else in my body. However, the nearby lymph nodes are showing some signs of inflammation; although that doesn’t necessarily indicate any spread of the cancer yet, it probably isn’t the best news either. The tumour is reasonably large, and poorly sited for surgery, so the operation is going to be pretty major, will carry some risk and the possibility of complications. I get the impression I can probably expect a couple of rough nights immediately after the surgery. Because of the lymph nodes, the consultant is also recommending short-course radiotherapy prior to the surgery. This will reduce my ability to heal (and may also result in some other side effects), so the current expectation is for me to require a temporary colostomy while my bowels heal.
I’m planning to undergo the radiotherapy privately, as that will gain me a couple of weeks. I’ll then do the actual surgery on the NHS, before switching back to private provision for the post-operative care. I see the clinical oncologist next week to plan the radiotherapy. Should be in surgery within 4 weeks. If everything goes to plan I should be back to normal life again about 3 months after that.
In the greater scheme of things, I think this is pretty positive. I celebrated by watching my linux system clock roll past “1234567890”, and had some sparkling wine. And now I’m going to bed.