My Brush with Cancer

by William Cooke
(Northumberland England)

In 2015 I under went a prostate cancer op to remove a cancerous prostate by robotic surgery.

This was carried out at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital superb Consultant Surgeon, superb aftercare staff.

In 2016 during a review I revealed that I had noticed some blood smear in the pads, I was put through a scan which is where they found a tumor on the pancreas there was a series of tests to establish if cancer was present and I was asked to attend a meeting. This was to tell me if cancer had been found, the result was that the tests were inconclusive but the concerns lay with the tumor which too large and of irregular shape and as far as the surgeon was concerned likely to have cancer cells so early stages and had to be removed I was then told I had three choices.

1. Have it surgically removed by the Whipple procedure

2. Do nothing now other than watch it and retest in 6 months, or

3. Do nothing not recommended.

The shock and clincher was that I could be looking at 5 years survival.

After spending some time to think and digest everything I had been told and looking up my Consultants Biography on the hospitals information site I decided to go ahead. I have to say that I am Widower and have been for 23yrs. I have two grown up daughters and 6 grandchildren. So last June I entered the Freeman for what I had been told was a two to three week stay.

The operation was done same day as admission and the following morning I woke up to find a cheerful surgeon and smiling entourage standing round the bed telling me it had all gone according to plan and the tumor had presented itself as being in a precancerous state. This was on the Tuesday, on the Wednesday The Physio turned up to get me moving about. She was very good knowing when I was tired and had had enough. On the Friday I was told I was going down for a scan. On the Monday I was told that a tear had occurred and to avoid going back in they were going to treat it with antibiotics, but I was not allowed to eat and for the next three weeks all I could do was to sip not drink water all the time.

That is it really. I progressed well and was allowed to go home on the tenth of July. I lost 3-4 stones and dropped three waist sizes and it has taken around twelve months to reach full recovery, but I still have some minor problems. I feel fatigued as opposed to tiredness but when my surgeon signed me off after 6 weeks his parting words were "well there you go I've given you 15 years" but I wont hold him to it.

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Jul 31, 2018
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15 years and Counting!
by: Jane

Thank you Mr. Cooke for sharing your story. You, my friend, are an inspiration and an encouragement to all who follow after. The Whipple Surgery is not an easy one and we are so very thankful for your positive outcome.

Praying for many continued years of living well, and Blessings in Abundance!

Grace, Always,
Jane

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