My name is Don. I am 80 years of age – a retired College Lecturer, having retired 26 years ago, and have always enjoyed good health.
In October 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer of the bowel and early in December 2009 I started a course of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy treatment. This continued until early January 2010. Up until then I was always told that I would require surgery and use a Stoma bag, which would not be reversible.
I was not very pleased about this, as I liked to swim and ski. I had to cancel my skiing holiday for January 2009 as at this time I was in the middle of treatment. I was prepared to take a chance and see how things progressed, as at my age I would have settled for a few more years being able to do what I wanted to do.
I was then given a date for surgery in March 2010. I went to see my Oncologist in late February to discuss this with him and told him that I did not want to have surgery, and it was then that he told me about the Papillon contact radiotherapy that had become available and that my tumour had been reduced to a size that enabled me to take advantage of it, and he strongly advised me to have the treatment. He told me that if things did not go well I could always have surgery anyway at a later date. I decided that I had nothing to lose and had no hesitation in accepting the offer.
After three treatments over four weeks from late February 2010 to late March 2010 my tumour was no longer visible on the camera, and after several visits since this is still the same.
I was told, much to my delight, in August 2010 that I was in complete remission and I am very happy to say that I have just returned from a ski holiday in Austria without any mishaps, something that I never thought I would ever do again. I now look forward to next January.
Based upon my own experience with Papillon treatment I would recommend it to anyone in the same situation that I was in. Although this treatment is quite invasive and uncomfortable, it is much more preferable to the alternatives.
I would like to thank the wonderful staff at Clatterbridge Hospital Oncology Unit. Everyone in every capacity was fantastic.