Throat Cancers’ Worcestershire Vacation.

Thank you so much for the response to my first blog, to say I am overwhelmed is an understatement but it has given me a very big lift leading into the coming months.

So nearly D-day and the operation – feeling fairly chilled, the thing that bothers me is knowing my wife could be waiting up to 10 hours for news as the operation can drag on.

The procedure is called a ‘laryngectomy with a neck dissection thrown in to spice it up🤗 the laryngectomy is the removal of the voice box, whilst the dissection bit is the removal of my lymph nodes, this is conducted by two surgeons one to hold the instructions and one to do the operation!! This is followed by two weeks in hospital and then 6 to 12 weeks recovery. My aim is to return to work on September 2nd and then walk/jog the Cardiff half marathon – I have found goals and normality is the key to recovery.

To be honest I cannot wait, the pain at the moment is building (sorry a little bit of self-pity) the worst time is at night, as the pain is at its worst in the right side of my throat and right ear and the acid reflux at its most annoying- the meds only take the edge off now, and the unfortunate thing about morphine and codeine is the blocking skills they possess.

Trying to spend as much of my free time with family when not at work, watching Toy Story 4 with Tom my youngest, lots of take outs and seeing my Mum, Dad and sister – my dad has been in a care home since December, and with the fatigue from the earlier treatment I have not been able to visit as often as I would like (4hr round trip).

The fatigue that you suffer after radiotherapy or chemotherapy is really something to behold. I am now able to fall asleep or rest anywhere and at any time – it is quite astounding, and it’s both your body and mind that just shut down. If anybody is about to or knows someone who is about to go through the cancer merry go round, please get in touch if you need a chat, I believe that for the treatments that I have had and am going through there should be a ‘buddy system’, whereby newly diagnosed patients have the opportunity to contact patients who have recently undergone the treatment. We all fill out forms before in pre-op, surely people can be asked at this stage do you want to be put in touch with/ are you prepared to become a buddy for future patients, a database of patients and ages can then clearly identify similar age/illness.

I believe in this passionately, kids when they go to school have buddies to help them get acclimatised – the NHS is wonderful the nurses and doctors fabulous, but to be able to get the information from the horses mouth(if you want to) would be invaluable. What is radiotherapy like, how does it feel to have mask fitted, what after effects did you have and how did your family cope, travel insurance and just general day to day stuff. I was lucky to have a very good friend Kev, who was 5 weeks ahead of me in the treatment, and I was able to chat and get an insight into what was going to happen and the severity – forewarned is forearmed and I will never forget his help, after all he knows what it’s like when he says I understand, he understands!!

Anyway here endeth the lesson, going to go, 2 days left before entering the Worcester Colosseum for an interesting few hours, cannot fully comprehend that I will no longer have a voice, how will that feel? What happens when you move your lips? My nose will no longer work – what is all that about🤔 Anyway not long to wait.

8 thoughts on “Throat Cancers’ Worcestershire Vacation.

  1. Bless you Richard, thank you.
    You are inspiring , will be waiting to join you in Cardiff and cheer you on! X
    Lorna

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  2. Hi Benno, Don’t know what to say other than your positive attitude is an inspiration and I really like the buddy idea. I am praying for you (hope you don’t mind or feel it intrusive?).

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  3. Hi Benno. I’m a bit late reading this instalment so by now you’ve had your op. I hope it’s done well – you seem to be facing into it with incredible bravery.
    I am doinfmg the Cardiff half marathon too. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages – but I’ve only ever run 10k so never been arsed to do the training. I’ve still got a LOT of training to do. Would be lovely to try to catch up – maybe we can walk/run together? I’ll be running big for Bowel cancer uk as they helped my husband Matt when he was ill a few years ago.
    Keeping my family ngers crossed for you and wishing you a speedy recovery. 😘

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  4. What an amazing read Richard, you have been a wonderful patient and I promise I have not got the photo 😂
    You and Ann are a strong team and to watch you in your journey has been hard but also good because you are a fighter.
    You are always welcome to come and visit us on the ward for kisses and cuddles and you Ann x
    Looking forward to the next blog, all the best
    Love Tan xxx

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    1. Thanks for those lovely comments, the team of head & neck is fab and despite being poorly I miss the laughs we had, which helped me through the dark days. I will see you all on Tuesday as hopefully I will be able to eat again🤞😁 xx

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