I’ve started cycling to work -- 12km in each direction -- and I’m feeling much better for it. The foot has now improved to the extent that I feel that there is very little I couldn’t do now, given the right footwear -- just barefoot sports (I used to do Karate) are out. I haven’t needed a compression stocking for the oedema for a month or so, and I haven’t needed to wear one regularly for a couple of months.
That life at this point had got more or less back to normal was demonstrated by my greatest sarcoma-related annoyances being:
A checkup on the 11th July 2002 proved clear!
On the 17th August 2002, I married my girlfriend of 5 years. She was a rock throughout my recovery from the surgery. She was the reason I stayed sane.
The LBA finally got round to processing my case, and on the 10th September 2002, I was declared fit to fly.
On the 24th September 2002, my lymph nodes were examined again by ultrasound. The doctor found nothing to be concerned about.
The area where the original tumour was had become hard under the skin, which worried me for a while, but it opened up and it was obvious that it was merely an infection. It took a month to clear up, though.
I had another good check-up on the 4th October 2002.
I am still getting blisters in the flap on the sole of the foot, but otherwise the foot isn’t giving my any major trouble. I can leave it down for several hours now.
On the 8th November 2002, I had a clear PET scan.
Another good checkup on the 10th January 2003.
I passed my private pilots licence on the 26th March 2003!
The original plan was after a year or so, when the flap has completely stopped changing, for the the plastic surgeon to operate again to improve its shape to make it look a little more like a foot. I thought that I might then get back into normal shoes again.
I didn’t have the operation done after the year was up because of the wedding. Afterwards, it was postponed because I wanted to get my PPL out of the way. Therefore, I saw him on the 10th April 2003. He said, however, that I would never be able to wear normal shoes again. Apparently if I tried, I would get blisters and wear a hole through the flap. We agreed therefore that the risk of another operation wasn’t worth it.
I had a checkup on the 15th April 2003, and as this was then two years, I was moved to six-monthly checkups!
The two year anniversary was celebrated with a chap at work who was in hospital at the same time with me, but with prostate cancer. However, I had another important reason to celebrate - my wife was 3 months pregnant.
An ultrasound on the 1st October 2003 was clear!
I had a clear checkup on the 16th October 2003.
On 27th November 2003, I became a father for the first time.
I had a clear checkup on the 20th April 2004.
An ultrasound on the 5th October 2004 was clear!
I had a clear checkup on the 14th October 2004.