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, 14 September 2010

Cancer? What Cancer?........

I didn't post anything for a couple of reasons really....I wanted to just try and forget about this stupid cancer for a few days.
I wanted to pretend I didn't have cancer any more - it's just 'gone away' all by itself and I wanted to just go back to being normal again - so I did.

Now back to face reality again - I DO have cancer, it HASN'T gone away (either all by itself or with help) but I am normal - the new normal ....:-)

I've done lots of thinking over the weekend and one of the things I was struggling with is/was guilt....

You all know that I've not wanted to have this operation (and still don't 'want' it either) but at times I've found myself thinking how completely selfish I am - simply because this operation gives me a chance to attempt to get rid of this disease...other people don't have that chance.
For them no operation is going to get rid of their cancer and then I feel totally selfish for being pissed off that I've at least been given a chance via the operation.

Someone (you know who you are.....but you're too shy to comment on my blog) helped me with this over the weekend - she helped me put this into perspective and I'm grateful for that.

What she said was:-
"Yes, there are people worse off than you. But I always think - so what? There are people better off too. I don't think it helps to try to think of those who are worse off. You have to be able to feel all the emotions you are going through without feeling guilty for having them"....

At that point, it all just clicked into place...There ARE people better off than me and they're not spending all their time feeling bad because they're well - so I need to move away from the guilt and accept that my feelings about this op are MY feelings and I'm entitled to have them and sod the guilt.....
Human nature is a funny thing really.
Thank you K for that piece of advice, it meant more than you probably realised at the time :-)

Anyway, I've had a letter from the psychology department at the hospital asking me to contact them to sort out my counselling for both pre surgery and post surgery...So I'll sort that out this week sometime.
At least I can now say 'I need help with the procedure, but not with the guilt' :-)))

I asked for the counselling because I know I need professional help with coming to terms with all this.
So on Friday I get two letters from the hospital - first one is a copy of a letter from my surgeon to my GP so it's full of stuff about the operation, PET scan etc and talking about carrying out my op by the end of September - No reaction from me - just read it and put it to one side.
Then I open the second letter and it's from the psychology department asking me to contact them with regard to counselling - and I start to cry.
WHY the hell am I crying? I ASKED for this appointment for goodness sake...surely I should be crying about the first letter - not the bit I actually want to do.
Sometimes I have no idea what's wrong with me any more :-))


  1. Hi Carole - you are so not alone with those kind of crazy mixed up feelings. As I face the possibilty of entering a clinical trial soon I am beginning to doubt my sanity in feeling so damned positive about everything when I should be a despairing crumpled heap on the floor. It's even begining to grate on those around me to such an extent that I don't know what to think any more. A leaf out of your book with some Mac counselling sounds as though it may be a good idea. We just can't and don't have to do it alone when there is so much help available. The problem is knowing how to prioritize though needs when you only find out how strong you are when being strong is the only choice you have....

    Heartfelt wishes for finding your peace of mind

    David [X}

  2. Carole love there is nothing wrong with you , you have had this horrible journey to go through, but you are so strong you will get through it love and we will be there with you every step of the way.
    I just wish we could change things for you but we cant.keep your fighting spirit up love, love you loads, Mum and Dad xxxx

  3. Well, you're bonkers. That's what's wrong with you. Some of us have know that for years, you've just taken a bit of time to catch up, that's all!!

    Love you, bonkers or otherwise.

    Looking forward to lunch Thursday. (We'll have something for you, Auntie Sarah) xx

  4. Dearest Carole,

    You have gone along way to face up to the physical side of cancer, what it has done and what it will do to you...you have worked hard at being a 'complete nuisance' as we all know that is not easy...the doctors are god like and expect to tell you a road you are going to travel and off we all go merrily along...you bucked the trend and fought for what you know you needed at the time...

    Now onto the crying about the counselling appointment...I have an idea that you cried because you are now looking at the psychological impacts of cancer as this can be sometimes equal to and sometimes worse than the physical. You are going to be digging around in stuff that you may have buried so it can have a great big hook into your emotions!

    A true inspiration and glad you made the right choice - I am sure all will agree that 'The world is a far better place with you in it'

    Nuff said

    T x

  5. Stupid Cancer indeed! Stay Strong!

  6. Time out isgood,its when things suddenly fall into place without the pressure .I would assume the flood gates opened because you know you are going to talk about yourself,do you find you can talk about anything except your own feelings?It,s good to cry and let out the stress as you are being so strong for everyone.
    Spoil yourself for the next few days,as they say in the ad "you,re worth it "
    Rose xxx

  7. Thanks for the kind words David...

    It's like you can't win really eh! If you're down everyone tells you that cancer loves stress so be positive - then when you're positive everyone wonders if you're just hiding how you really feel and therefore in denial - LOL.

    I think counselling is now an essential part of this for me - and with your recent news maybe you should give it a go - even if it's just to put everyone else's mind at rest.

  8. Thanks Mum/Dad,
    I'll be okay, was just a temporary blip :-) See you tomorrow xx

    Lou, am looking forward to seeing you for lunch on Thursday...We going to the Italian again? Yummy :-)

  9. Hi Rose,
    Yes talking about 'everything else' is pretty easy really...and the time out was good, and it was surprisingly easy to just pretend for a few days that all was well.
    It helps that I have no pain of course - well, not physical pain anyway.

    As always, thanks for the ongoing support. I've always felt that the psychological side of this is way worse than the physical side.

    I can cope with having a bag (I hope!) what I'll struggle with is how I feel about me afterwards.

    And no amount of people saying 'It'll be ok' works...because until *I* decide it's going to be ok it just doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. So yes, psychologically this is going to be harder than hard for me.

    The bowel cancer charities realise this - they have lots of info about how permanent colostomies affect you 'mentally and emotionally'...it's helpful to read it in black and white - but it doesn't make it all better.

  10. Hi Kenny,
    Thanks for the support - I just had a look at your website, you guys are doing amazing stuff...:-)

    I didn't realise that the statistics were still so poor for young adults/young people - and you're right - that's NOT okay at all :-(

  11. Hi sis, lunch without me, well....you should be feeling guilty alright! LOL!

    I took a break myself from the laptop last few days. It helps to focus on something else for a while. You are always in my thoughts everyday but sometimes, I wish I could forget you had cancer too. But I will never forget about you. Tried to call you yesterday, had a surprise friend with me that wanted to say hi. Sends lots of best wishes and hope all goes well on the 5th. Speak soon xxx

  12. Hi Sis,
    And it WAS a yummy lunch too. Lou sends her love.

    I missed the call as we were in the restaurant at the time...
    I'll email you about this as it's 'not for blog' chat :-))

  13. Carole,
    You friend is very wise indeed!!
    **Yes, there are people worse off than you. But I always think - so what? There are people better off too. I don't think it helps to try to think of those who are worse off. You have to be able to feel all the emotions you are going through without feeling guilty for having them"....**

    On Monday I sat with the social worker and she nearly told me these exact things.She said I was a brewing volacano that will blow my top if I don't come to terms with things.
    Like you there are days I want to forget I have cancer, I told want to be told anything that begins with the "C" word. If we ignore it it will just go away. It was pointed out to me that I have not come to terms with having cancer. I walk the walk talk the talk. Maybe they are right ...I'm still thinking about it..
    Carole you are going through a lot. Ultimately the only person who has to make any kind of decision is you. You have the love & support of new and older blogger friends along with those who love you outside the blogging world. I'm right behind you 100% with "thumbs up"
    Take care dear friend....Love Alli XoXo

  14. Thank you Alli...
    I am so lucky to have the ongoing support that I have.
    It does make it all so much easier...I have NO idea how someone could get through this alone.