What have I been doing? Lots.
If you look at Dave’s blog you will see photos from Joanne and Paul’s visit in early July. I will write about that later.
The main event has been Dave and his colon cancer!
Dave decided, now he has turned 60, to go for a BIG annual check up here in Taiwan at the Taipei Adventist Hospital. In June he spent a day being checked out everywhere; inside, upside, downside and outside. This resulted, a few days later, in a phone call to say that they had found cancer in his colon and he should see a surgeon about it.
As you can imagine it was a bit of a shock to suddenly be told this. Turns out they had done a SIGMA SCOPE and had found some polyps in the descending colon, taken a sample for biopsy and it came back positive. From knowing nothing about colon cancer (except Audrey Hepburn died from it) we are both now fairly knowledgeable about it.
The surgeon, Dr. Liu, was a lovely man, said he had done hundreds of these operations and explained what it would involve. The operation was scheduled for a few days after our Canadian friends left.
Dave went into the hospital on Sunday afternoon to prepare for the operation on Tuesday 24th July. He was put on a liquid only diet until Monday evening when he had to fast.
The operation lasted about 4 hours in the end and all went well, Dr. Liu was so excited he insisted on showing me the offending piece of colon which he proceeded to cut open to reveal the cancerous polyp. It was such a sudden thing I didn’t really have time to be disgusted and found it very interesting, it was a piece about 8 inches long and when he cut it open the polyp was a cauliflower floret shaped lump only small but dark coloured, perhaps with the extra blood cancer demands.
Dave’s stay in the hospital was good, he had a private room and good nursing and I visited everyday. The day of the operation I stayed in the room overnight, but he was fine after that. He had a morphine drip for the pain but after two days he got them to take it away because he didn’t’ like feeling out of it and the strange dreams he was having. (I, on the other hand, become very attached to the great feeling of unreality it produced, when I had one)
Dr. Liu was very pleased with the way Dave recovered, he finally came home on 3rd Aug. and has been improving everyday. He even went into work for a few hours on Monday and plans on going in tomorrow.
Dave has lost 6 Kg. because he had to stay on a liquid diet for the first week and is still only eating vegetables. In fact we have changed our diet a lot lately and had already started to eat mostly chicken, fish and vegetables. Fish is OK but I think I prefer vegetables. Anyway radical changes to eating habits are obviously called for.
Word of advice to anyone out there aged 45 and over get a sigma scope done ASAP.