Newsletters on hold

At the centre of OOSO, our very own IT guru and Webmaster - Roger, solely and wholly keeps our big wheels turning and firmly on the rails.  And without Roger, quite frankly we'd be up Sh1t Creek without a paddle!  

So, STOP PRESS, in the next few days, Roger has an essential operation lined up, which will put him out of action throughout much of June - pausing our newsletters until a time he feels well enough to return to our fold. We hope the next newsletter will land in your in-box in about 4 weeks time. But in the meantime, please browse the rest of this newsletter for important dates and information. We wish Roger the very very best - we'll all be thinking of you on the 6th, and looking forward to your return to OOSO!

Summer Lunch at St Ann's

I didn't know, but St Ann's College Oxford was founded in 1879 as a centre of learning and excellence, becoming a fully fledged Oxford College in 1952. Hence in this year, the College rather nicely shares it's 70 year anniversary with HRH's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, so when we met for our annual OOSO Summer Lunch it felt even more of a special occasion, and not least because it was our first 'face to face' indoors event for over two years. We entertained thirty guests, sitting in a spacious dining hall seated with social distancing in mind, next to an open quad with plenty of airy ventilation.  

Unsurprisingly, it was an emotional occasion, meeting with old friends and new, after such a long time in isolation from Covid.  Nick gave us his ritual and rousing speech, lifting our spirits, reminding us why we have so much to live for and to look forward to. We raised our glasses to all those at the Churchill Hospital, expressing our sincerest gratitude and thanks for all their care and kindness. The lunch was a great success and we thank everyone again for supporting OOSO. So look out for our summer lunch next year, and please do join us. 

Zoom Summary

If you missed our recent Zoom Meeting last Tuesday, here's a brief summary of the main points discussed:

  • Digestion mainly occurs below the stomach, where the pancreas and liver take on a major role. So having a Gastrectomy or Oesophagectomy doesn't dramatically impede digestion - which is why we can reasonably live a fairly 'new normal' life afterwards;
  • Malabsorption can occur for some post-operative patients, where food isn't digested as well as it should be. Symptoms include oily, floating stools and gradual weight loss. A 'Creon' supplement can quickly be prescribed to very effectively address this imbalance;
  • Acute acid reflux is very effectively managed using Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI), such as Omeprazole, in tablet form, taking up to 2 x 20mg tablets a day. These start to work well after an hour of being swallowed. Eating early in the evening and taking a PPI, and sleeping on a slight upward angle (pillows or reclining bed), all help to reduce and or eliminate acid reflux;
  • If acid reflux persists, speak with your Special Nurse contact at the Churchill Hospital for advice. An endoscopic 'stretch' might be one simple solution to help improve the situation; 
  • It's not unusual to have prolonged 'dull aches and pains' post surgery, for months afterwards while the body heals, especially around the rib area for those who have had full resection surgery. If pain persists, speak with your Special Nurse, to discuss pain management options. Approximately 15% of post surgical patients have aches and pains beyond three years after surgery; 
  • Getting 'back to near normal' after chemo / radiotherapy / surgery is absolutely possible for almost everyone, but requires some effort, positive thinking and a little determination. Regular walks and gentle exercise are a good start, as well as eating little and often of the things you like most. Recovery takes time and requires patience, but will happen. By talking with family, sharing experiences and feelings helps a lot too - a problem shared is literally a problem halved. Keep in touch with us at OOSO! That's what we're here for. 

Keep in Touch

With a temporary hiatus in Newsletters, please don't let the void become the norm - so keep in touch - drop me an email whenever you like, or call for a chat during the day on 0775 999 6969.

PS: our next zoom session is on Tuesday 12th July at 7pm, look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards
Matt Carter
Chair of the Trustees
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