I want to mark the start of my blog by saying a big THANK YOU to everyone that has supported me, my wife and my children throughout the past eight months. I won’t name names because I fear I’ll forget someone, but you know who you are – friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, medics and strangers. You made a hellish situation more bearable and I am forever grateful.
Thanks particularly for the cards, the flowers, the food and drinks, the visits, the house cleaning and 'DIY-SOS', the babysitting, the hospital parking vouchers, the care packages and fruit basket, the phone calls, texts and emails and to those who have taken time out of their days to keep me company on daily walks while I tried to regain my strength.
Thanks also to the wonderful family that helped us with the serious stuff of writing a Will and Power of Attorney (and for bringing us Holy Communion!). And for the slightly more unusual things – a ridiculous T-shirt (as modelled in the photo - I don't understand it either!), a Nutribullet (so useful that I managed to wear it out!), an amazing painting, a large helium balloon and... a key for disabled toilets!
To those who have been praying and fasting for me and my family we felt peace when we needed it most and I’ve been told by several medics that my recovery has been amazing (one even said she was convinced it was a miracle!). On this note, a special mention to one of my devout atheist friends who sent me a picture of a church at Christmas, saying he was going inside to pray for me. I'd say it takes a really good friend to make a gesture like that!
Having said I don’t want to name people, if you’re ever in the care of surgeon James Hollingshead and the colorectal cancer team at Watford General (Siobhan, Andrea, Bas, Ami and Linda), you’re in great hands. Also a special thanks to consultant-extraordinaire and friend Dr Kelly! Despite the bad press, there are some truly magnificent people in the NHS.
Finally, I feel I must apologise for being awful at keeping in touch with everyone. I’m afraid I was overwhelmed by the messages and couldn’t find the ability to reply to many. But please know I was truly grateful for every one of them. I’m slowly catching up with everyone. I hope to be back in touch soon!
P.S. If you want to know more of the story, I’ve documented some of it HERE.