It’s been a long time since I last posted an update on my health. That’s partly because I’ve just been getting on with life (which has been busy) and partly because I’ve been going through a lot of tests. A whole bunch before Christmas, and then most of them again after Christams to confirm the first set.
Without going into all the gory details, the good news is that the tests show that I am still (so far as we can tell) free of cancer. In March it will have been 4 years since my operation. One more year to go, and I will be discharged from most treatment. News that’s definitely worthy of celebration!
On the other hand, the bad news is that all the scans show the same thing. The healing of the abscess (more correctly, sinus) in my pelvis has slowed to a halt. Fundamentally the problem is that the radiotherapy that I elected to take back in 2009 to improve my chances of getting to where I am now, in 2013, has diminished my capacity for healing to the point where the abscess and the join in my colon is never going to mend.
Unfortunately this leaves me in a situation that cannot continue; my kidney function is being impaired by the inflammation in my pelvis, and that will continue to get worse unless we intervene more dramatically.
So I’m out of options. The surgeons need to “take down” the original repair in my bowel, and replace it with something that works so I can get on with as normal a life as possible. My options are either a pemanent colostomy or a permanent ileostomy. We discussed (briefly) attempting to remake the join even lower in my pelvis, but my surgeon feels that with the amount of surgery I’ve already had, even if the operation “worked”, it would be unlikely that my bowel would function adequately anyway. There would be a fairly high chance I would end up incontinent – so that’s easily ruled out.
So for now, I’m coming to terms with the results. Over the next few weeks I need to make the decision over the colostomy or ileostomy, and then decide on when to actually schedule the operation. The surgeon tells me that the operation is larger than the first operation I had, and that I should expect 2-3 weeks in hospital, and 3 months off work recovering. Which is all rather frustrating, if not actually somewhat depressing.
So, still winning the war, but I’ve just lost a major battle. Darn it.