Retiring at 65 is meant to start a chapter in your life. For us, it meant visiting our children in the UK, US and Spain. Some cruises to far flung places. We were lucky to have no commitments or debts and had a great budget in place for the time of our life.
We were both fit and healthy. First, within a year, I needed to have spinal surgery. In the second year my husband had a golfing accident leaving him with a compound fracture that was very slow to heal. The pins and plates were unbearably uncomfortable for him. As Christmas approached, he was too unwell to go away for the cruise we had planned with friends.
Early December last year, he started having trouble swallowing his food. It become so bad his weight started to fall away. He was still fed up having to cancel our cruise, but decided to visit our Doctor between Christmas and New Year. Within a week, they sent him for a camera down his throat and stomach.
The waiting for results were upsetting as his swallowing was getting worse. Three weeks later, we were called to see a consultant for his results. It was a strange feeling, as we were convinced it was probably an ulcer.
Whilst waiting I felt quite ill and when they called us into the room, all I could see were cancer leaflets. Being told you have cancer is a total unreal numbness!
We sat there speechless. Eosophagus stage 3 cancer! He would go to a specialist hospital to start his treatment within a six week window. The protocol was, Chemotherapy for 9 weeks, the removal of two thirds of his Eosophagus and a third of his stomach. Another 9 weeks of Chemotherapy! We were both stunned.
The prognosis was fifty percent survival and armed with that information, we left.
It was weeks of tests, scans, results and more tests. That all started in January 2017. He survived it all and is now adjusting to a new lifestyle of small meals and a feeding tube whilst his new stomach adjusts. He is three months on from the operation. He decided to forgo the second round of Chemotherapy as he wouldn’t be able to cope with the weight loss. Everything has changed in our life.
The most frightening thing is, it had been growing for two or three years and there were no signs apart from a swallowing issue. He got a good result and as far as we are aware the Surgeon got ‘it’ all.
I urge everyone who reads this article to check out thoroughly, all the tests available.