Welcome home Roger!

It feels like ages since our last newsletter, shared with you at the end of May, but we’re now back on the map and very pleased if not relieved to welcome Roger home! 

Roger our webmaster and newsletter aficionado has recently been through the wars with a major operation, but is now out ‘on the other side’, looking forward to getting back to normal. 

We’re just so grateful to Roger for everything he does for OOSO, without his expertise and great wit, quite simply we’d be adrift. 

And here’s a few words from Roger..”….

They say that every day is a school day and if I've learned anything over the last few weeks it's the following.

  • What an amazing system our body is. I've had a hole the head, a couple of skin grafts, and feeding tubes in some strange places. But still my body copes.
  • How kind people are. We almost expect nursing staff to be helpful but until their care is experienced first hand no words can truly describe their contribution to the wellbeing of us patients. And let's not forget friends and family. I never knew I was so well loved.
  • Patience is a virtue. Yes, I'm home but I still have radiotherapy to look forward to. The road to full recovery may be long but by the inch it's a synch.
Onwards and upwards.

Thank you Roger, we’re very glad you’re back!

Zoom news

We recently hosted a lively and very informative group session on the 12th July, well attended by current and former patients and clinicians. Consultant Surgeon Bruno Sgromo led discussions, giving us an update on the latest Robotic surgical techniques, fielding questions about risks and benefits, as well as giving fascinating insights to how surgery affects us all. 

In particular Bruno described how our ‘new stomach’ high in the chest seems to stretch a little over time, allowing for slightly larger meal portions, with the downside of delayed movements through to the digestive tract, heightening risks of acid reflux. So, acid reflux might become more problematic over time, a long term transitional side effect that has yet to be fully studied and understood. But thankfully, former patients on the call shared their experiences adapting to these changes, coping very effectively by adjusting eating routines, dietary choices, and taking advantage of proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) like omeprazole and using off the shelf Gaviscon chews. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

It’s just so reassuring knowing that our clinicians are totally focussed on our wellbeing and long term health, and let’s be honest, our own network of former patients have a huge contribution to make by sharing experiences with new patients facing an uncertain future.

So please do join us on our next zoom group session, due Tuesday 23rd August at 7pm. If you aren’t already on our zoom invitees list just
drop me a line here - we’d love you to join in.

Why me?

One of our long time supporters and a former patient Pete Adams is to be congratulated whole heartedly, for publishing his first ever book, and very probably not his last. 

Titled ‘Why me?’, Pete brings to life his story, from diagnosis through treatments and surgery, recovering and discovering a new and rewarding future. 

This is in part a philosophical and reflective piece, reinforced with very practical and common sense solutions. In short there’s something for all of us. This is a unique book; I don’t know of any other that explores so many ideas and experiences from a first hand perspective.

Pete’s book is now available from Amazon and WH Smith online, just search for ‘Why me?’ by Peter Adams.

Last word

I just want to say, on a personal note, and many of you will endorse, I’m just so proud of Jackie, for looking after Roger through his recent illness, being his carer, just in the same way that Roger looked after Jackie throughout her oesophageal cancer and recovery over a decade ago. Isn’t it strange how life can turn on it’s head in an instant. But with irony and bad fortune, even in the darkest of moments, there is love and light at the end of every tunnel.

Kind regards
Matt Carter
Chair of the Trustees
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