About Me

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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..

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Carole Arab is fundraising for Trinity Hospice

Carole Arab is fundraising for Trinity Hospice

Many thanks for the donations everyone - I'm up to 108% of my target now....if anyone was thinking of donating at any point in the future I'm perfectly happy to keep beating what I'd hoped to raise.
In other words, it ain't over :-)

Djamel is going to organise his sponsored walk for when he returns to school in September, I'm currently selling raffle tickets...Now I'm going to see if I can turn that 108% into 200%

Big thanks to everyone who donated so far...I know that Trinity Hospice are very grateful and I am too :-)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

My address is 'Limbo land' .............:-)

Thanks to everyone that has either phoned me, text me, emailed me, messaged me on here or other places or simply been thinking about me...all that positive stuff flying around must do some good eh :-)

I had my MRI on Saturday and then my meeting with my Consultant/surgeon on Monday. The outcome from the CT scan was that there is a question mark around an area on the left lung BUT it's 'too small to call' at this time. There are changes there - however it may be something or it may be nothing.
Plan is to re-scan in 3 months to see if there's any growth...so my lung area has now moved to 3 monthly CT scan monitoring and we are going to take a 'wait and see' approach. I've already received my appointment for this on September 19th....

My MRI results were then reported the following day, Tuesday.....there is an area of soft tissue around the original tumour site that has raised concern/interest BUT it's too early to tell if it's inflammation from the Radiotherapy burns OR if it's new tumour activity.
Plan here is to rescan with MRI in 6 months to check and see what's happening and again 'wait and see' approach.

'My name is Carole and I live at number 3/6 WaitandSee, Limbo-land'.........:-))

I had a bit of a moan (ok, quite a BIG moan actually!) at work on Tuesday afternoon (thanks Hazel for listening and for the good sensible advice), came home & kicked a few boxes around, felt sorry for myself for a few hours - then decided to say 'F*ck it..what will be, will be'...
I've done what I needed to do to get rid of this damn thing and if it insists on coming back then I'll deal with that when I need to.

Right now I'm going to just get on with things and try to forget about what 'could' be happening until my next scan/s.

Consultant feels that my shoulder & rib pain is not caused by anything tumour related so quite probably bone damage caused by Radiotherapy - possibly a type of osteo-arthritis from RT treatment.
He's writing to my GP to inform them that I need to see a bone specialist now to see what we can do...he has said however that RT damage cannot be reversed so it may be a case of learning to manage the pain.

Okay that's it - back to my gardening now :-)

Much luv to all

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Rain, rain and more rain........

That's what we've had today, tons and tons of rain...but I'm not actually complaining because it saved me from continually going up and down stairs filling my watering can to stop my plants all drying out.

Where we live there is a communal garden at the back which no-one uses - this is because over the years it's been left to grow into a complete overgrown mess. Once it started getting out of control no-one then wanted the responsibility of sorting it out...so this year I decided it would become 'my' garden and I would tidy it and grow stuff out there.

When I started a few months ago, this was just a small part of what initially faced me.....

Completely overgrown, full of weeds and tons of work.
It took me ages but bit by bit I cleared each of the raised flower beds out - pulling and cutting out the weeds one by one, chopping back the blackberry bushes that had completely overtaken the whole area.
Rab then helped me by digging over the earth before we started to put out herbs etc in pots..it has been a long job, it's not over yet and I can only do work out there when I feel up to it - which isn't always - but now this is what the raised beds are looking like - I have coriander, mint, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, sage and some flowers growing in here now....slightly tidier compared to the first photograph :)

My tomato plants, (in grow bags) that are doing so well on the frame that Rab built for them ....

Every one of my five tomato plants has suddenly developed tiny tomatoes or has the flowers coming out daily in new spots, which will then become tomatoes...

I'm well pleased so far (and you're probably thinking 'So what, it's just tomatoes...lol') but I'm happy because what was wasted space is now being used and best of all, other people have noticed, commented and are starting to show an interest.
My aim is to get more people involved for next year.

This is my courgette plant which Jacqui got for me a few weeks ago. It seems to really love the spot I placed it in and has really taken off over these last few weeks...

I've also got spuds growing in a bag, radish, lavender in pots and a couple of sunflowers...It's not yet perfect - and probably never will be perfect - but I'm happy that it's making progress.

Dizzie's a lot happier out there too now - he rarely comes inside during the day now, unless he's hungry :)

So, that's why I don't mind a day of rain, rain and more rain

Monday, 4 July 2011

Results ....still partial so far....

I got my email this afternoon as promised by my colorectal nurse.

Not got too much to say this evening apart from:

  • The multi disciplinary team have decided that they now need to do an MRI of the pelvic region of my body.
  • The colorectal nurse has today started the ball rolling with this and I should get an appointment within the next few days.
  • She will then be organising an appointment for me to go back into clinic to meet with my surgeon once they have collected all results together.

Watch this space :-)

* * Added Tues, 5th July......

* *
Just had a call from the hospital - I'm booked in for an MRI this Saturday afternoon (9th July)

** Added Wednesday, 6th July....

* * Hospital confirmed I have an appointment with my original surgeon on Monday, 11th July to 'review scan and discuss progress'

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Results.....partially anyway......

I was going to do an update tomorrow but seeing as how so many of you have now emailed me over the past few days and asked questions, I'll tell you what I know so far....

I eventually emailed the nurse on Wednesday and asked if she could let me know the results for both the bloods taken on the 13th and the CT scan done on the 20th.
I told her this was because my shoulder is driving me insane and if the scan is clear then I need to organise physio or whatever to try to relieve it (plus the overall joint pain and this ongoing naggy ache/pain under my ribs on the right hand side is increasing daily now).....

She then got back to me on Friday and said 'Bloods are fine but CT needs to go to MDT (big team meeting) on Monday morning and I can't report the result to you until after we've had the meeting'

So - bloods are fine and the scan I'll let you know about once I know - which should be sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Fingers crossed! :-)