I've had such a positive response from the newspaper articles and the radio interview, so firstly I'd like to say thank you for that.
I've had a lot of emails from people in similar situations and its been lovely being able to connect. A lot of people ask where my positivity comes from and in all honesty I don't know, some of it I'm sure is down to how grateful I am to still be here and some down to the fact I know it could have been a whole lot worse. The rest just happened, I am very lucky, I've never had a single down day about how I ended up, that's not to say I don't get frustrated with my stoma at times, when it leaks or makes a noise without warning for example but I just dust myself off and get on with it. I have been asked many times about the operation itself, (I had an AP resection and Oophorectomy) although I don't mind discussing it on a one to one basis I don't like to offer it up unsolicited. That said and without going in to great detail I think the best way I could describe it is how my at the time 13 year old *son described his experience of Chemo when a new boy to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at UCLH asked him what is was like, he thought for a moment and replied "its horrible but do-able".
You can get through it, you will recover, you just need to be a patient patient and give yourself time.
(*Our son was diagnosed with very rare, advanced stage Nasopharyngeal carcinoma at 13, he had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immuno therapy, he was diagnosed with his cancer 6 months before I was diagnosed with advanced stage bowel cancer. There is no link, just two very unfortunate lightning strikes in a very short space of time, we were in treatment at the same time at one point. Which was very hard on my husband and our youngest son Ben. Fortunately Sam is in remission as am I and as a family we have come through it stronger than ever.)
This is probably totally random but one of the things I credit with my recovery is the first meal I ate after surgery. My ward buddy (a wonderful woman who I met the night before my op and has since become a very dear friend) and I were told by the staff when your'e able to eat again eat what you fancy, which we did, She chose a much lusted after cheese sandwich on white bread, although she is fighting fit now she unfortunately did not have a smooth road to recovery, I've no idea if that was sandwich related or not but its always stuck with me, no pun intended.
I couldn't face the hospital food, food in general wasn't appealing to me, but my husband brought me in my favorite soup in a flask and love his heart he had even sieved all the bits out so all that was left was the clear gravy, it was like nectar of the gods. From that point on I slowly gained my appetite and he would bring me home cooked food daily. I know I'm very lucky but I would like to think that most people if not everyone has at least one person that could bring them the first meal after surgery and if they have I would thoroughly recommend a steaming bowl of sieved chicken noodle soup!
I wish you well on your journey to recovery.
My personal favorite, other soups are available.