"Fantastic care from all for my bowel cancer"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / General surgery

(as the patient),

In May this year, I collapsed in our bathroom and was rushed in to Northampton General. At first I was left pretty much alone with only my pain relief for company, then about 5 hours later, I had an MSI and 30 mins later I was in surgery. They removed the tumours and gave me a temporary Stoma. When I awoke I was pretty much out of it the first thing I asked was did Spurs win! then did I have a bag?

From that moment, I hated it, I didn't want to look at it or acknowledge it. I had two drains, a catheter drips in each hand and a nasal drip which needed emptying every 2-3 hours. Not very pleasant! The second day, when I was a bit more aware of everything, my consultant came to see me. He sat on the bed looked me in the eye and told me straight I probably had cancer and would face chemotherapy and I would likely face a long hard road till I recovered. But he told me I would recover. I would have the Stoma reversed. I would get through this and he would do everything to make me whole again.

Every day on rounds he spent time with me, reassured me, encouraged me and made me feel like I was his only patient.

The nurses on my ward were all spectacular - even the guy bringing round tea. When I had a major wobble at night, the nurses who held my hand and literally soothed my brow with a cold cloth were incredible. The Stoma nurse who I told to " fuck off and leave me alone" then came back the next day and patiently showed me how to clean it and replace the bag (I did apologise, she laughed it off!). The male nurse who shaved my beard off and wheeled me out to the entrance during his break so I could have a sneaky cigarette!

When I was discharged, the Stoma care was fantastic and the Macmillan nurse who helped me through the initial chemotherapy consultation was amazing. Nothing was too much trouble, she rang me on many occasions to check on me and every visit to oncology she seemed to be there, just like Mr Ben! In a months time, I finish the chemo and will have a planned reversal on my Stoma. Throughout the whole process, I have been kept informed and any help that may be available to me has been offered, even my oncologist saw the irony in his name - Faust!

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