Dave's story

David's Story

My name is David Scane I am 62 years old, and in November 2013 I had an Oesophagectomy operation by laparoscopic surgery at the Bristol BRI hospital, which was a complete success. A year down the line I am still recovering but back to work part time, eating little and often, and thankfully cancer free.I would like to give you some insight to the period leading up to the operation. I had a reflux operation for a hiatus hernia 12 years ago and at the time it was spotted that I had Barretts and after further investigation I was told I was high risk and I would eventually get cancer, I was given a one in twelve chance within the next ten years.

Over a period from 2002 I had regular endoscopes every year at the mineral hospital in Bath to monitor the Barrett's and in December 2012 after a routine endoscopy it was noticed that the Barrett's cells were starting to change. In January 2013 I had an MRI scan and it was confirmed that I had cancer of the oesophagus, it also found I had a small cancer growth on one of my kidneys.

From the period from January to May 2013 I had many more endoscopes and biopsies, the view was taken for me to have the kidney tumour removed first which I had in May, it was cancer and it was successfully removed, I did not need any other treatment but had a few complication with retention which put the Barrett's on a back burner for a while.

In July I had the HALO procedure at the BRI and in August 2013 after another endoscopy it was looking like halo hadn't worked and the cells were becoming cancerous. In October I had a PET scan and another endoscopy and after these scans it was decided that I would have the oesophagectomy operation at the BRI in Bristol in November 2013 The operation was a complete success with the removal of the cancerous cells which were in the very early stages and completely removed.

The period after the operation until the present day has been a long and sometimes very traumatic journey with all the things connected to such a big operation. Now a year down the line I am cancer free, recovery is long and slow and sometimes you think you will never feel the same again, but i am now getting stronger each day, I'm back at work part time, and I go to the gym one a week. I will only ever be able to eat small meals every few hours but it's a small price to pay to be cancer free!!

I would not have been so lucky if it was not for regular screening for the past 12 years and dedicated surgeons at BRI and the wonderful NHS, I know we all moan about it but they are life savers too!!

I would also say thanks to my doctors surgery for their support and a huge thank you to the Oesophageal Patients Association for whom the endless phone calls we made to them were in valuable, especially as they are manned by people who have already been through it themselves, therefore know exactly what you are going through.

(Posted 2015)