Me: No, none
- I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..
Monday, 28 February 2011
Me: No, none
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Monday, 14 February 2011
Since my surgery, and even before my surgery, I was managing to keep on top of things and convince people that despite all the crap (deliberate pun) I WAS coping really well, I tend to joke my way through life at the best of times but it's a cover up for how I'm really feeling.
Since my surgery I literally feel as though I've been hit by a steam roller, flattened into the ground and left for dead!
I saw my GP last Wednesday and we had a long long chat - lovely man. He said that he feels that now is the right time to admit that some counselling sessions will help me through the next bit of this journey. I agreed.
It was something that had been offered way back around last May but I resisted and decided I could sort myself out - but the truth is, I can't...and believe me, I have tried.
My GP feels that the combination of my struggle to get results reported, plus the continual ongoing pain from the wound area that hasn't healed is just a recipe for disaster. I cried, he listened and he told me that he feels that a weaker person would have been on their knees by now after what I've been though.
Now you see, this is actually weird for me to hear because I honestly think I'm being a wimp and that there are so many people worse off than me.
I find it hard to view myself as 'strong' or 'resilient' I'm just someone that HAD to find a way to deal with cancer and that doesn't necessarily make me a 'strong' or 'brave' person in my view...and although I've been sort of dealing with it all, I've not managed to see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
A large part of the uncertainty has been the continual struggle to get results confirmed by the hospital - I finally managed last week to get my PRE treatment CEA levels (which were '5') and then when I asked for my POST surgery results 'Sorry, we didn't do them'...
WHAT the F***!
How am I supposed to relax and start feeling confident that you lot did 'get it all' then?
How am I supposed to 'move on' when you can't tell me F**k all really?
I'm angry with my post op care, (lack of results being confirmed) I'm angry that despite doing all they said, my wound is still so bloody painful, I'm angry that I'm still exhausted most days and I'm angry at myself for being angry.
So in short I'm just angry and I don't know what to do with this anger or how to stop it.
So counselling is the route I'm now going to use to see if I can reach the light at the end of that long tunnel.
My GP arranged to do my CEA levels last week for me - and he's happy to do them every three months (for as long as I want) as he feels that it's way too long to wait until June.
He also confirmed that he personally is in 100% agreement with me (and my Oncologist) that there isn't necessarily a huge benefit in doing adjuvant Chemo with rectal cancer. It's the luck of the draw really - some people it works on, others it doesn't so he is happy that on this one I made the right decision for me.
We discussed my symptoms:
Are you sleeping okay at night?.........No
Are you feeling your energy levels rising? .....No
Do you feel that you are coping with day to day things....No
Are you irritable and stressed at times?....Yes
Are you noticing an increase in your appetite?...No
Do you feel okay one minute then very sad the next?...Yes
Are you prone to tears when alone?...Yes
Are you avoiding social situations?...Yes
Can you get through this without intervention now?...No
Do you feel suicidal?...No
Therefore we decided that a batch of sessions will be useful. I get my results for my CEA tests and other blood tests on the 22nd February. Maybe then I'll feel a little clearer about things but right now I'm living in Limbo-land and it's not the best place for me (or anyone else living with me either)!
Funny thing is that before the surgery I would have thought it would be the colostomy that pushed me into the direction of needing some counselling - but it's not. The one thing I don't need to talk about and don't feel depressed about is that - strange how things turn out eh!
Much luv to all and as always thank you for the ongoing support xxx
Friday, 11 February 2011
Following on from the recent revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt, who is next?
Rab and Dj were thinking about a week in Algiers during the half term holiday - for now, we've decided that it's not an option.
Could Algerian's stand against their government in the same way that Tunisians and Egyptians have recently done? Unlikely as the military there really do control things and unlike Egypt, would have no real qualms about shooting the people.
It has not been widely reported here in the UK that over the past few months at least 12 Algerians have set themselves alight in protest at the government oppressions inflicted upon them - it has not been widely reported that during their last protest, in January this year, 5 were killed and over 800 injured.
Tomorrow a march is planned in Algiers, the capital city. Demonstrations/marches are banned by the government - currently more than 20,000 additional police/military personnel are being drafted into the capital to assist the 10,000 already in place. Transport is being cancelled in an attempt to stop people attending.....
Will the march take place?
Will people lose their lives in an effort to better their living conditions?
Will the world notice this time... or will this be kept under wraps again whilst the world celebrates the downfall of Mubarak?
Update....2:40pm Twitter is buzzing with reports of the role of women in today's protests in Algiers, with some saying that police are tageting and arresting women. There are several photos of female protesters being hauled off by police on the wires.
All pictures from Al Jazeera - English
Monday, 7 February 2011
Friday, 4 February 2011
Thursday, 3 February 2011
And Thank you Sis for always being aware of when I need a lift and letting me know that despite being SO far away from me physically, you're still with me all the way - love you loads too xx
People often say it's the little things in life that matter and that is so true.
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Health Minister Paul Burstow said:
“No one likes talking about their poo – it’s embarrassing. But if we see something different and tell our GP it could save our life.
“Early diagnosis makes a huge difference to cancer survival rates and bowel cancer is one of the biggest killers.
That’s why the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign uses simple messages to make people aware of the early signs of bowel cancer and to give them the confidence to talk to their GP about them.
“To make sure we get it right, we’re testing this campaign in two regions and, if it works, we’ll roll it out nationally.
My only 'gripe' with this campaign is the age range it is targeted at....currently they are aiming to get more over 55's aware but I want EVERYONE to be aware.
The simple facts are this - Bowel Cancer affects approximately 38,000 people per year in the UK.
75% of people fall into the over 60's age group which means that approximately 9,500 people may feel 'This doesn't affect me, I'm too young'....Harsh reality is it COULD affect you so if you have symptoms you need to get them checked.
I was 49 when diagnosed with Rectal Cancer, Stage 3 - my surgeon estimated that my cancer had been growing, silently without obvious symptoms, for anything up to 8 years...that made me potentially around 41 years old when it began. Screening me at 55 would simply have been way too late.
There is no plan to screen earlier but if people notice symptoms then they MUST contact their GP and insist on being checked over.
My message is simple 'If in doubt about it, shout about it'......
If you have any of the higher risk bowel cancer symptoms listed below for more than six weeks you should visit your GP:
- Bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding) without any obvious reason. If you have other symptoms such as straining, soreness, lumps and itchiness the problem is likely to be piles but it’s still important to get this confirmed by your GP
- A persistent change in bowel habit especially going to the toilet more often or experiencing looser stools for several weeks
- Abdominal pain especially if severe
- A lump in your tummy
- Weight loss and tiredness (signs of anaemia)
Please remember that most of these symptoms will not be bowel cancer, but to rule it out you must first visit your GP.