Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Operation tomorrow, fishing on Friday?

OK, perhaps not, but you can bet that me having to be out of action for a while is going to mean lovely fizzed up green water and hordes of big hungry bass that have finally decided to come on in and feed. I can bloody guarantee it!! The prospect of not being able to do active stuff for a while ain’t exactly great, but I am pleased that my operation is going ahead and I can then get on with the (dreaded) waiting for results………….

I met the plastic surgeon at Derriford last week and he ran me through what they are going to be doing to me tomorrow, and to be honest I was shocked when he said that he wanted to operate on me the next Thursday (tomorrow). I was sure that with Christmas and New Year that it was going to be a longer wait to get on with it, so so soon is great, but still it’s going to be at least four weeks after the operation until I know whether they’ve got this skin cancer out of me or whether it’s spread - and it’s not as if patience was ever my greatest virtue, indeed I will be testing my family’s patience I am sure with me not being allowed to get out and about for a while.

It’s hardly as if I am an athlete in regular training, but I do walk 30-40 miles a week with my sheepdog Storm when I am home and not working away, and I fish as much as I can as well. Sitting around on my arse for hours on end ain’t something that I am exactly keen on, but I have been told by the surgeon that I have to be sensible and let the skin graft on my leg “take” and heal up. I did think that perhaps there was a certain amount of exaggeration going on with how I was being advised not to go out walking and fishing etc. straight after the operation, so I called a mate of mine who works in this field and he told me the same thing as well, albeit a little stronger - along the lines of don’t be an idiot Henry and let it all heal up. OK, point taken.

As much as having skin cancer spooks the frigging daylights out of me, I believe the operation I am having is in fact fairly routine as such - take a decent chunk out of my lower leg, i.e. cut around where they found the cancer, skin graft over it with some skin from my thigh, and then take a lymph node or two out of my groin area to try and find out if it’s spread of not. I haven’t had a general anaesthetic for ages and I am trusting that all should be fine. I did ask whether I would be ok to drive myself home after the operation so that I could save my wife a couple of trips to Derriford, but I was told in no uncertain terms that I will not be in charge of a car right after a general anaesthetic, and that I needed a responsible adult around me for 24 hours or so after I get home. My poor wife!!

I feel pretty positive save for the inevitable brain churnings going on, and especially at around 4am every morning. It’s not as if I ever sleep much beyond about 5.30am anyway, but for some reason my head has decided that 4am or thereabouts shall be the time when it throws all manner of thoughts at me. As much as I wish I didn’t have skin cancer, one thing I am resolutely refusing to do is think “why me” and “what could I have done to prevent this” - I have asked all the cancer related people I have seen so far about melanoma, the type of skin cancer I have got, and essentially it’s no more than bad luck that I have it. If and when I get through this, I am not going to change what I do or where I go. I have always been careful about sun protection and what is happening to me is what it is - bad luck. As my youngest daughter said on a dog walk the other day - “life is for living”.

Anyway, my apologies in advance if this blog falls behind a bit. If all goes to plan I should be back home from hospital the same day, hoping that they have got this bastard cancer out of me. Catch up soon.

Henry Gilbey34 Comments