Hi and welcome!
Thanks for stopping by. I started this blog to share my experiences of living with cancer with the aim of keeping things simple and concise.
Here’s a little bit about me.
1. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, aged 36
I found a large lump in my abdomen and thought it was a hernia, I went to my GP and was sent straight to the hospital for a CT scan. Two days later I was told I had cancer, a week later I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
2. I was in remission for a year, but the cancer came back
Following three operations, twelve rounds of chemo, a temporary stoma and a few other bumps along the way (punctured lung anyone?) I was free of active cancer in July 2017. A CT scan one year later showed it had returned on the lymph nodes in my bowel.
3. I’m not offended by the phrase “cancer warrior”, the war is most certainly on!
For me, having cancer is a daily battle. While my doctors fight my disease with drugs, I am battling the most basic things like being able to get out of bed or take a shower. Some days I have to summon the strength to step outside my front door and face the world. I completely understand why some object to this type of language, but personally I find it empowering.
4. I used to have a colostomy bag
Following my first operation, my surgeon gave me a stoma to allow my bowel to heal after part of it was removed. I remember waking up from surgery and immediately bursting into tears when I saw the dreaded bag! As time went on, I got used to it and it’s now been reversed. I intend to write a blog post or two about my experience.
5. I find living with cancer really difficult
This might seem an obvious thing to say but often people comment on how well I look or how well I’m doing and sometimes I have to tell them that I’m actually not okay!
Having cancer is depressing. It is an emotional rollercoaster. It left me with PTSD when I first went into remission and my current treatment makes me feel very low.
I often experience bouts of low mood and depression and writing helps me make sense of how I feel. That’s why I’ve started this blog.
I intend to fill this blog with lots of “Five Things…” posts that may help or inspire others who are affected by cancer. Let’s see what happens!
Love and chemo hugs,