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..

Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year to all......

Just wanted to wish you all a Very Happy New Year and hope that 2011 brings only good things to everyone.

We don't really celebrate New Year, I never go out on New Year's Eve mainly because it was always so difficult to get a sitter for that night that I got into the habit of spending it at home - then as James grew up I realised I had zero interest in going out with other people and would rather spend it at home with him anyway.
That continued throughout my adult life - I'm just not a 'party person' the rest of the time so see no reason to become one just for New Year.

Rab nearly always works on New Years Eve, usually until about 3am - but this year he's finishing earlier and should be home by 10pm. We'll see the New Year in with a toast then move on.
I have to admit that this year I'm quite looking forward to saying goodbye and good riddance to 2010!

Apart from all that a quick update on me (yes, it's all about me, me, me...LOL)..
I'm still having my wound dressed every two days - it's still not healing and is being packed with something called Aquacell (Aquacell promotes healing from within apparently).
I asked the nurse today how long she estimated until it healed and I suggested maybe another week or two?....she said unfortunately it'll take much longer than that now. Blast! Still no sign of being able to lay in my nice hot bath yet.

I'm tired but not totally exhausted like I was a month or so ago - although I do still feel worn out most days by the end of the afternoon. I'm eating better - in fact over Christmas I ate plenty and managed to lose a whole kilo! Go figure eh!

I've discussed with the nurse the idea of having CEA blood tests done after 3 months instead of waiting for my 6 month check up at the hospital and she thought this was a good idea (*thanks Fiona for the suggestion).

My wound is uncomfortable and hurts if I stay in one position for too long - parts of my bum are still completely numb indicating nerve damage - which is apparently very common in this op. The advantage to this is that the nurse is able to pack the wound with Aquacell without hurting me at all - every cloud has a silver lining eh :-)

The Stoma works perfectly well, is not difficult to look after and I've accepted that it's here to stay. Do I like it? No, but I can live with it anyway.

I'm currently sourcing alternative bags as I dislike the ones that have been sent to me (*clear bags and actually I don't want to see the contents, thank you very much) so my current mission is to find colostomy bags that are both comfortable to wear and easy to live with.
Some of them itch like mad (different adhesives I suppose), some hang too low, some are too transparent, some are useless in that they start to come away from the skin too quickly...
I've found one that is 'acceptable' and asked for these to be delivered after the Christmas break...I've also found a new design that is completely flushable and requested samples.
If they work I feel that would be the best option for once I return to work - quick and easy to change and dispose of....eventually I'll work out which are best for me.

The gas pains have disappeared (since I ate the Spicy Thai Red Curry!) and eating is no longer particularly difficult now....I definitely don't have any trouble with eating Christmas pudding, mince pies, cream and all the seasonal fattening foods - it's just that they're not fattening me up at all...oh well, I'll just have to keep trying then :-)

So, just a final wish to you all...........

'May the New Year bring us all good things or at least nothing that we can't cope with - Happy 2011'


  1. t is lovely hearing you sounding so positive and I,m so glad you sorted the wind pains,they are so painful and debilitating.Sorry the wound is taking so long though.
    Hope 2011 will bring you everything you deserve ,which will be a whole lot of good things xxxxxxx

  2. I totally understand the good riddance to 2010. Cancer seems to have consumed my life since my diagnosis five months ago. It feels like every other part of my life got put on hold. Sorry about your bum. Hopefully that nice hot bath will come early in 2011.
    My ostomy nurse told me yesterday I could expect to loose 20 pounds just for having an ileostomy. I am definitely headed that direction. At least we can enjoy eating again, eh?
    I can't believe the psychological difference having an opaque bag makes. The hospital sent me home with only clear bags. Like you, I've tried several types and sizes at this point. But the single biggest factor is not having to see the contents anymore. Good luck with your search.
    For the last ten years our family has celebrated New Years with our neighbors playing board games and munching on lots of good food. We end up running back and forth between our two homes and other neighbors drift in and out during the evening. At midnight the whole street comes out to make noise before we all drift off exhaustedly to our beds. Lots of fun.
    2011 can only be better than 2010. Thanks, Carole, for your love and support. I can't imagine anyone fighting cancer alone. You've been a big help to Carla and me. We appreciate having you in our support group. Enjoy your toast with Rab tonight.

  3. Bag sample also on the way, sorry for the delay...also a pot of glucamune to keep you going until Kate can order us some :-)

    Defo a good idea for the 3 monthly CEA check, normal levels 0 - 2.5 so a close watch is good.

    Stay Cool and a Happy New Year to you and that lovely family.

    Much Love

    T xx

  4. Hi Rose,
    Thank you and wishing you, Ricky and the family the very best of everything in 2011 xxxx

    Thank you for the sample and vits...they are definitely working, everyone else has been dropping around me with flu symptoms and I recovered the fastest!
    Happy 2011 to you, Fran and C xxxx

  5. Hi Steve,

    Yes, it's both consuming and totally draining at times - but it's also introduced me to some great people. People I would never have had the privilege to encounter were it not for cancer...weird but it's something to feel thankful for.
    I've learned so much since my diagnosis - about life, other people and what's really important. Although it's a ba*&ard, it's done some good along the way.

    Happy 2011 Steve, Carla and family. Wishing you only good, positive things xxx