So here we are, it's the day before my partial glossectomy. I've had seven weeks to prepare for this moment, well for this moment four days ago then it was postponed till tomorrow, but I've had a few bonus days to prepare so I'm even more ready now.
How am I doing..
I'm feeling good, I've been doing home HIIT workouts nearly every day, some yoga and quite a bit of cycling over the last few weeks. I spoke to the Physio at the Hospital in advance to get some advice on preconditioning the areas that might be affected by the procedures. These exercises focus mostly around the neck where the dissection is likely to bruise nerves and affect some of the power of the neck muscles. I've been on a protein- and phytonutrient- rich diet and supporting this with dietary supplements to help give my body the necessary resources for recovering from the physical trauma of up to six procedures in one day. I've chilled out the last couple of days with no workouts but just doing yoga to keep moving and relaxed. I feel like I could do with some more time to get a bit fitter, but the reason I'm focussing on the fitness is to shorten the recovery time and the sooner the surgery, the sooner I can start getting better.
I'm definitely feeling slightly anxious and on edge. This is manifesting in an inability to relax at the moment. I have tried to avoid thinking about the gory details of scalpals slicing away through skin and nerves (sorry) otherwise the adrenaline and anxiety starts ramping up. I'm trying to prepare myself to detach from my brain's response to pain and keep my mind focussed on the practical necessity of all the procedures. It's been hard to keep focussed on staying relaxed as I try to stop the pressure getting the better of me. I'm darting from one task to the next quickly and trying to cram in as much stuff as I can before the procedure.. If you want something done I can do it all now! I am feeling the pressure of the impending deadline. I'm trying to savour the experience of using my tongue as it is now because the experience will never be the same again. I can't decide what I want to eat for my last proper meal for a while. I've found my senses are heightened at the moment in the run up to surgery and out on my bike on the way to hospital and GPs a few days ago the city was rich with sounds and colours as my senses soaked up more than usual. I really enjoyed this 10 mile ride around the city, I will have to relinquish this freedom and fitness for a while and I'll miss it.
I'm sad that I cannot see my parents at the moment due to Covid, and I've been told that I can't have visitors in the hospital (although some have hinted that exceptions are being made). My parents are two hours away in Carmarthenshire and video calls aren't as good as being able to give them a hug and let them see in person that I'm doing ok and love them with all of my heart. The heart that they have nurtured every day since my first. We are going through this as a family and my wife Jo is about to have three of us to look after. She is working really hard to enable me to put so much time into preparing myself as I need and I would not be able to take this head on without her support. Our home in lockdown with my little family has been the perfect place for me to be in preparation for this treatment.
I have been blown away by the responses to the blog. The comments on social media and the private messages have been such a big boost and have helped me to keep on track with my plan for recovery. I've read every single one and I wish I had time to respond to every one of you to let you know how much of a difference it makes. I'm immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support, it is truly humbling. Thank you!! There is something about cancer that seems to bring genuine care and concern out of any stranger. The meaningful connections I've made with many people in the last few weeks have been inspiring and at times very emotional. We have not been able to accept as much help as we need due to Covid, but the offers from far and wide are truly appreciated and we've taken as much as we can whilst isolating, thank you to my bro Philip in particular for taking time to help us get the house ship shape for when I'm convalescing and lazing around.
Into the Unknown
As with many parents of young girls there is a slight obsession with the movie Frozen in our house. Maya and Erin run around the house as Elsa and Anna bellowing "Into the unknown!!" (Well actually they think it's "into the unlow"... which is cute but not convenient for this story) This keeps reminding me that this is where I'm heading...
Into the unknown"
Frozen referenced in a grown up blog! Whatever next...
Today started with some sourdough baking, then hanging out as a family in the allotment, some last minute Ikea furniture construction (mental note for future Mikey, don't ever shop at IKEA again!!), skipped out yoga today, did some video diary, video calls to family, shaving beard off, pack pyjamas in hospital bag, then this evening is chilling out. I've been a bit tense and anxious at times today but feeling relaxed this evening.
So, it's time then, here we go... See you on the other side.