The medical staff have done a wonderful job. They've prepared you for your operation. You've been cared for at a Centre of Excellence for the Treatment of Cancer. You've been brought to a level of fitness that enables you to be discharged from the hospital. Now you and your partner are at home wondering how you can cope.
It's a dichotomy. The NHS exists to maintain the health of the nation but cannot afford to look after patients forever. In fact, resources are so limited that the NHS needs to make beds available as soon as they can. This inevitably means that you get discharged at the earliest opportunity - even if, deep down, you don't feel ready to cope.
It's for this reason that OOSO offers patients a programme of periodic reviews.
We don't insist that you join the programme and we're not too prescriptive about the timing of the reviews.
We recommend that your first review is one month after you've been discharged, your second review is two months later and your third review is a further three months after the second. This means they occur one month, three months and six months after you've been discharged.
But it's important to note that this is only a recommendation. If you want to talk to us or you wish to revise your personal programme don't hesitate to give us a call, to send us an email, to send us a text message or to write us a letter.
The reviews are undertaken by counsellors who have graduated from an OOSO Training Course. You can be confident that you'll be in good hands, that you'll be given good advice and that you'll be listened to with sensitivity.
At all the reviews we discuss three distinct topics each of which will accelerate your complete recovery.
In the early days eating tends to be the focus of most attention. The aftermath of the operation affects patients in many different ways. Some people are fortunate and don't have too many traumas. Others take quite a while to settle down to new habits and tastes.
What is common is loss of weight and inconsistent preferences. For a while you want sweet things - then you prefer savoury. At first you appear to only enjoy soups - then suddenly you want solids. This lack of consistency is frustrating - not just for you the patient but also for the person preparing your menus. Understand that these changes reflect how your body is adjusting. It is not a sign of an irritable patient being difficult just to let off steam.
We've all heard the mantra "A healthy body leads to a healthy mind". In our case a healthy body means so much more.
You'd be surprised how only a little regular exercise will deliver improved digestion, better sleeping patterns, a rejuvenated sex life as well as getting an emotional uplift and a higher level of self-esteem.
Do we wake each day wanting to be miserable? Can we overcome adversity? Is it possible to break out of a bad mood?
Life is for living. A colleague of ours says he believes in life before death. Nick Maynard says that one of the best aids to a fast recovery is a positive mental attitude.
Professional coaches know that success breeds success, that a string of successes builds confidence and that a confident, successful person is a happy individual.
This philosophy can also work for you. Set yourself a few goals - not too many, not too difficult and not too far off. Measure your progress. Remind yourself how far you've come. Tell other people about your achievements.
Remember you are not alone. Full recovery takes time. There will be set backs along the way. But OOSO is here to help. We respond to your needs. It may be for you the patient, it may be for your family or it may be for your friends. Nobody is exempt.