Friday, 9 March 2012

Next ordeal....Alien!

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The visit to the hospital went well on Tuesday - I was only in there a few minutes. Just a matter of popping into the ENT clinic in Central Outpatients, locating Wendy and then doing a quick swab. She introduced me to June, who is new to head and neck cancers, but will be working with her for three days a week. She seemed very nice too. As I was leaving Wendy gave me a leaflet about having a PEG put in.

This is meant to be happening on Tuesday next week (13th)

I thought they were called Pegs because they were like a peg on the outside of your stomach. But it actually is an acronym for Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. I have to confess that I'm really, really not looking forward to this. There is such a thing as too much information - and reading the leaflet they gave me I am not sure I want to do it at all! There are so many things that can go wrong including the risk of death which they say is 2 in 100. Now I don't think that those are very reassuring odds.

The whole thing sounds horrendous as you have to be awake - though partially sedated - for the whole thing. I just don't like the thought of having it in there for weeks on end - and having to mess with it. One of the things that can happen is that it can just burst out.

 I'll be feeling like John Hurt in Alien - expecting it to happen suddenly at the dinner table. :-)

One thing they didn't tell you in the leaflet is how on earth they get it out again. If you want all the gruesome details have a look here:
If anyone out there has had one of these things - please let me know how it was. Unless it was terrible - in which case don't! :-)

Enough of this doom and gloom. I am very happy today because I went back to my library. Just for a visit - unfortunately - not to work. Although I did serve one customer while Tracy was busy! It was lovely to be back there and chat to a few of the regulars. Everyone was wishing me well and I came out with yet another card and some Belgian Chocolates. I am under instruction to eat them before the radio-therapy, while I can still taste them!

Also, I was very happy to bump into Nigel who has left me messages on here about his experiences with CUP. I was just in the Parade in Silverdale and he came up to me and asked if I was Berni. I was so surprised just to meet him like that. He showed me his neck after radiotherapy - it did look a bit sunburnt. He looked pretty good though so it gives me hope. He is still having problems with his shoulder, so will get some physio.soon. It was good to hear that his taste was slowly returning! He said the sweet is very slow to come back so that throws out the balance of everything else.

So I look forward to when my radiotherapy is in the past and I can concentrate on getting back to normal. Won't be long now...


  1. Lovely to think of you visiting the library, Berni! It is Tuesday, March 13 and I've been rooting for you today. Every day is a day through your treatment and towards recovery. You'll get there. You will.

    As long as your PEG doesn't stop you laughing, I'll send you some more poems before long :) We're doing limericks on Thursday as it is Edward Lear's bicenteniary this year (though everyone is talking about Dickens instead of course).

    Take care, Caroline

    1. Thanks Caroline!
      It is a bit painful to laugh right now though I'm sure that will only last a couple of days - so I look forward to hearing about the limericks! I bought Writing My Way Through Cancer after reading the wonderful poem you sent me. It is a great book and really helpful with some good ideas and tips for writing. Thanks for letting me know about her. Have you ever met her? She seems to be involved in a lot of poetry events.
      Have a fun session tomorrow - I can imagine you in your element with that microphone! :-) xx