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Emergency Bowel Operation Dec 2018

jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

Good evening all, I am new to the community, my name is Jackie, my user name is

jacksprat_x1, (a nickname my dear Nana used to use for me as a child, never did like fat!)

I have gained an awful lot from reading your uplifting and informative comments so took the plunge and decided to open up my heart. You all seem to be positive and compassionate people and becoming a member must be a good thing for all us who are joining a club that no-one would wish to belong to. Having said that I am very happy to have found you!

My story,briefly as I can , was that after a few months of discomfort in the left side of my stomach I was persuaded by my dear husband and best mate Norman to get it checked out. About the same week a more urgent very sore throbbing pain started in the right hand side. Turned out to be an abcess from leaking bowel. Rupture of bowel due to Tumour. My lady Doctor was excellent and got the ball rolling with a colonoscopy appointment within a week and the surgeon who ended up doing my operation said is your husband here? I am very sorry I can’t proceed as there is an obstruction here and I need to speak to you both. It was 6 Dec 2018. He came into the room and said I am very concerned. I asked him to be straight with us and did he think it was a malignant tumour? He replied he was afraid it shows signs of that. I was quickly advised that it was and warned about what to do,get to hospital quick, if I hadn’t been able to pass waste for 48 hrs and hopefully I could wait until early New year for operation. I had a CT scan on Friday evening 14 Dec 2018 and on Sat morning at 11 am the surgeon called me at home and said how are you? I replied that 48 hrs was almost up and we were going to be contacting hospital. He said please pack your bag I’m removing the Tumour this afternoonand you will be having the colostomy as discussed with a view to have a reversal within a few months. Eek! There was no time to contemplate and it was done. I have to say the service and care that I received in Heath Rd Hospital, Ipswich was excellent throughout. I recovered very well, took to my life saving Stoma like my best friend and it has been an easy ride so far. I have been active, although not at work. I started my first Chemo Folfox and Oxialiplatin on Fri 22 Feb 2019. I got cold sensitive side effects straightway but the nurses were brilliant explaining how to minimise the effects. Don’t wash your hands in cold water, don’t drink cold drinks etc and sip warm tea if it happens. Wear gloves in cold places, and fridge, cover neck and mouth and nose from cold temps. So far this has worked. I picked up my uncovered metal back phone outside and got shooting pains through my fingers! Got those gloves on pretty quick and it sorted it out. Had my 3 days of steroids so not much sleep had lots of energy but that is waning now. I guess I can prepare for my dip which seems imminent! I had my drugs given in hospital daycare and then was allowed to go home with Picc Line and and gravity fed pump for 46 hours, back to hospital Sunday for pump removal. I feel I am at the very beginning of it all and hope to be able to both support and be supported through this strange journey in life. I am a Mum to 2, Nanny to 4, two gorgeous little girls joined our lovely family and two little grandsons last year. Needless to say I was so busy working part-time, child minding for all children as well as a busy social life and singing in a folk and roots amateur band with my drummer husband that I didn’t have time for an illness! How funny when I see how much time I have on my hands now! 😂👶👶! I’m looking forward to a different type of life now and must take the time to smell the roses! I am thankful for all the love and care that I have received and hope you all get the same. All the best Regards Jackie 🙏


  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Jackie,

    It is lovely to 'meet' you thank you for sharing your story and journey so far with us. As you may have noticed from other conversations here, there are a few who also have a similar cancer to yourself, who will understand more fully what you have gone through, and the future days ahead while you undergo treatment. It is brilliant your dr moved so quickly as did your surgeon in order for the tumour to be found and diagnosed.

    Everything has happened so fast for you, which is good essentially as it is necessary, but it can mean your mind, head and heart are having to play 'catch-up' to process and understand it all. It can be very overwhelming at times.

    Taking each day as it comes now is important, as you say it is a change of life, some of it temporary, other bits more permanent. Some days will be better than others, and it is great you have a wonderful family around you for support. Please know we will all be here for you too, come and chat, shout, cry, laugh with us anytime, everyone is very friendly. The great thing about the community is knowing there are others who understand exactly what you are going through, and how you may be feeling, even if the cancer is different.

    For myself, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and had chemo, a mastectomy and radiotherapy. I am very glad to say it was successful in removing the cancer, but it has been a long road to recovery.

    Chat again soon,

    Lou x

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    Hello Lou, thank you so much for your friendly response! Lovely to hear from you. I have read your posts and am sorry you have have to endure this. Although our condition is different we can understand the devastation we feel to have our bodies ravaged by the disease and surgery. I am so pleased to hear that your treatment was successful all though a long journey. It is so nice that you remain to help us newbies along! You are correct that it is going to take me a while to get this to sink in as it happened so quickly. I think I have been euphoric about the survival of the operation, the release to home just before Xmas and the outpouring of love and affection from many lovely people in my life past and present that it all seems a bit surreal! I appreciate your welcome to the group and hope that I can help anyone in the future too! Have a peaceful evening. Take care Lou. Regards Jackie

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Jackie,

    'Surreal' is a perfect word to describe the world in which we find ourselves after being diagnosed.

    I remember on the day I found out, I was supposed to go on my own to the hospital as we had a school meeting, and we thought it was going to be a formality of what I had been told a week before that it wasn't cancer. It was only at the last minute my husband came with me. I'm so glad he did!

    But we then entered a world completely unexpected, my feet never touched the ground. The speed at which things moved was like lightening. The cancer was aggressive and had spread to my lymph nodes, but they were still unsure of it's precise location, even though I had had mammograms, MRI's and biopsy beforehand. All of that was repeated along with CT scans, at the same time as starting chemo which they didn't want to delay. Like you I had fantastic medical care and attention, I cannot speak highly enough of the MDT that looked after me.

    Surreal? Definitely! Haha.

    I am sure you will be a great encouragement to others Jackie, I hope you have a peaceful evening and you are able to sleep well.

    Lou x

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    Dear Lou, it sounds very much like the speed of my diagnosis. I’m glad you had such good care as I did. Thank goodness for our wonderful NHS. I too had it in one lymph node attached to the Tumour. They explained that chemo would mop up anything remaining. I hope they are right. Will keep in touch, take care.

    Jackie x

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Lou J,

    Laying here in the early hours as usual. I am so thankful that I do not have to go to work at the moment or have children at home now. My hat goes off to any Mummy and Daddy having to still get up in the night if they have C 👶

    We have taken advice to avoid the coughs colds and bugs circulating at the well known chemist that I work at. There’s only so much hand gel in the world haha. 🥴

    I hope that you are doing ok? The weather has changed a bit but it was a real treat to have had those few summer like days to pep us all up a little.

    I have enjoyed reading yours , Lou, Sunshine Daffodil and Rob’s exchanges. I’m glad I found you all.

    It helps while away the time spent resting following my first Chemo last Friday. I’ve been to hospital, various appointments, 7 out of the last 14 days! Hopefully it will get less and more into a routine now. My hospital is about 14 miles away so not too long. We have a little cottage hospital where we live in Suffolk too and I may be able to to have some chemos there which will be great but they are very busy.

    Do you know at 6am listening to the radio - “Dancing the Night Away”, hot water bottle, soft lamplight and my husband getting ready for work I think maybe this is not a bad place to be at the moment! I could have been driving through rush hour traffic, looking after lovely little grandson, driving to Nursery, dropping him off, driving back to Home letting the dog out, quick sandwich if lucky! Shower, get into chemist shop uniform, serve the public, rush home, do dinner, chores, catch a bit of tv with Hubby and bed. No wonder I was worn out and didn’t heed my body!

    I think it’s my time now. Trouble how am I gonna fill the time. I have a very impressive undies drawer! For the first time ever! Haha.

    Take care Lou and do let me know how you are. ☕️ That’s Sharing a virtual cuppa! 😆

    Lv Jackie x

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Good Morning Jackie,

    Coffee's on! would you like a refill? ☕️. Are you able to tolerate it? I couldn't take it while I was on chemo.

    I am up too, been awake since 5, but gave up trying to get back to sleep in the end. Sat here with Charlie and Lola (cats), who get very impatient with me. Forgive any typos, Charlie is helping me!!!!

    I am sat in the dark, except for my phone light next to me, if I put the lights on I might wake the others up. haha.

    That is very tiring all those hospital visits, but yes, they will slow down. I am glad to hear you are resting, looking after you is now your main job. 😊

    The one thing about being up early is seeing the dawn, and then the sunrise, I love it, now I am not in the dark!

    Apart from this blasted cold which seems to mutate into something else, I am brilliant thank you. It is just a cold. You are very wise to steer clear from the colds and germs, especially when people probably walk into the 'well known' chemist looking for remedies!😃. You really don't need their stuff!

    Yes, it is your time now. How to fill your time? I think when you feel up to it, look into starting some new hobby, what would you do? Painting, sewing, colouring, ? Until you can think of something, maybe sort Norman's sock drawer??😋.

    Just to say also, well done, you got through first week of chemo , tick the days off. You're doing great, hang in there.

    I've seen your post on 'garages', so I'm going over there now to chat!

    Chat soon,

    Love Lou x

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    oo thanks! No me too, can about do tea, been drinking loads of tepid squash yuk!

    I did actually get up in the night and had an options hot choc and it went down well. I’m getting a bit more sleep now but patterns all over the place. Still what can you expect? I have no agendad haha!

    My Oncologist said do you work and I said yes and said where. She said you could go back to work. I said Oo I don’t think so I sit by a till beside an open door brrr! And every sale at this time of year includes cold or Diarrhea remedy! She said give it a couple of rounds and see. She left the room and my husband said NO your not going back to work yet! My Colostomy Nurse said the same. Haha.

    Norms just gone off to work to keep me in the style which for the first time I am getting accustomed to. Still at 62 I think I have early it. Hopefully life will return to near normal in the future.

    I have some sewing I want to do and started colouring books and want to practice some new songs so when I get my get and go back I will make a start. Norms sock drawer awaits haha!

    Hope you can shift this awful cold soon. Take care.

    Lv Jackie xx

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    Charlie and Lola, Mum will feed you in a minute ! 😼😸x

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Practice new songs I hear you say? Are you musical too? Rob @RobertA , will be pleased! What with his song writing, @Fitzy writing skills, my flute playing, we almost have a band! hahaha! 😉

    I hope you have a relaxed day, Charlie's back, he spends most of his time wanting to sit on my lap now, bless him. He has cancer too.

    Oooh tesco's arrived! best be off, chat soon.

    Lou xx

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, yes I sing in our little Folk and Roots band. Norman is a drummer and plays Cahon, a box you sit on and bang, and the Bodhrun an Irish round hand held drum you hit or stroke with a stick. He is also learning harmonica. We have a fiddle player Anne and a guitarist Nigel. We just have fun!! It’s very therapeutic. We have done a lot of charity gigs over the past 5 years and raised money for Sands still birth charity and The Wolverstone Wish to make a warm bright comfortable place for cancer patients to hang out whilst having treatment at Ipswich Hospital. Our friend told us he used to have treatment in hot overcrowded dreary rooms. Not now! Never in my wildest dreams did I envisage myself sitting in one of those treatment chairs but so comfy they are. I do feel proud that we could help whilst having a blast playing music.

    Thats it I’m off to put those clothes in plastic bags and see what I’m left with.

    Love Jackie xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That sounds brilliant Jackie, and really amazing that you have been able to raise so much money for two very worthy causes. Fantastic!

    Hope you managed to sort some stuff, if not, never mind!

    Rest well,

    Lou xx

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you it was an easy pleasure to do tho.

    I am afraid I got bored and went to buy potatoes for dinner and bought a beautiful tealight holder which has set the mood tonight, very chilled now,

    Bin bags ready for another day! Night night all.

    Lv Jackie x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭



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