About Me

My photo
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..

Sunday, 17 October 2010

I have a date.....

......not with Richard Armitage -

because I'm a happily married and totally respectable woman and anyway my husband is twice as lovely (sorry Rich....)

I have date with a tubby little Greek man who just so happens to be a colorectal surgeon...... I'd like to report that he's taking me somewhere nice but that's unlikely to be the case - however he is taking away half my insides (Oh okayyy! I'm exaggerating, he's *only* taking 15 inches of my colon and another 6/7 inches from the rectal area.......) and altering all my bodily functions, on Tuesday, 9th November.

I'll not have to queue for this again once I'm all settled down >>>>>>>> :-)

Keep me in your thoughts this day (unless of course they cancel it again....)

Apart from that what's been happening?
Not too much really. I ran out of some of my supplements and have noticed the difference in how I'm feeling, my energy levels have definitely dropped off and I've gone back to feeling constantly tired again.
I've now ordered more knowing that I need to take them, at least up until the operation, to ensure I'm in good condition beforehand.

Yesterday Rab and I took Djamel shopping for new school shoes, few new pens, a couple of study books he said would be useful and a French dictionary and we had lunch out (just Pizza, nothing extravagant)....returned home £95 lighter!
I have no idea how people cope on only one income but we'll soon be finding out how to live on much less.
My money will go to half pay this month - and I have no reason to feel ungrateful because it's great that my employer's have paid me for this whole absence and will now continue to do so for the next 6 months at half pay rate.
Many people out there get diagnosed with cancer and then have to work out how they can survive on sickness benefit @ £78 a week.
We could not manage on that and would probably have to take other action - all of which has been discussed just in-case!

Today I cooked Guinea Fowl for sunday dinner - why? Because I've never cooked one before.

It was nice actually - so if you've not tried it before take the plunge :-) Quite enjoyable - even though I only eat the smallest bit of meat/poultry these days.
Veggies served with the lovely Guinea Fowl came courtesy of Loretta's allotment, Cauliflower, Red Cabbage, Spinach - all delicious Loretta, thank you..... :-)

Last week I just did very little, had a few days where I just wanted to sleep again after Dj had gone off to school....partially a bit of stress I think and partially lack of supplements, plus got a few worries about other people out there....and life goes on eh

Catch up soon x


  1. So! Maybe your lovely husband will bring you flowers after the date with the chubby little greek bloke. You somehow manage to maintain your sense of humour Carole which certainly makes for interesting reading. Good on you!
    Wonder if you could let me know what supplements you have found useful for fatigue as it is quite a problem for me?
    So pleased you are in the queue Chez Radford not logged on xo

  2. Another date in the diary now to get your head around Carole. It's not nice flagging as I know from the time it's taking me to recover from Wed's 2nd cycle, so get them supplements working and build up your reserves - You know it makes sense.

    Everything is already crossed for you lovely lady so they had better not delay again as now I've got me Phill Mitchell hair do and you don't mess with that, eh Peggy! Sorted!!!!

    love and hugs if i can squeeze by Richard and hubby

    David [[[C]]] xxx

  3. Hi Carole,

    I am pleased they have finally sorted out another date for you.....at least have time to preare yourself again!!!

    I was very lucky that my employer paid me in full the whole time I was off, I do know people that didn't get the same treatment from their employer though. It is a real shame that when faced with the Big C there isn't more help out there!!

    Much love
    Paula xx

  4. Good news about the date...can you believe that anything about this whole thing can be classed as 'good' news?!
    Re the benefit - make sure you get this sorted. I claimed it for a few weeks after I went onto half pay and it helps a lot. Its worth the hour you have to spend on the phone setting it up!
    The date's in the diary, Carole - and you don't have to ask - you're already 'in my thoughts' every day.
    Much love
    Shents x

  5. Hi Carole,
    At last another appt.I dont think they would dare to cancel this one.No wonder you are worn out,as well as lack of supplements you were so hyped up and running on adrenalin ready for the op. so you had to crash at some point.do you know how long you are likely to be in hospital?We will all miss you sooooooooooo much.It will be like a piece of the jigsaw is missing .I too had 6months full and 6 months half pay and was lucky enough to be accepted for early retirement when I finished work.We could never survive without my pay out as Ricky is disabled and hasnt worked for 4 years.It must be so frightening for some poor souls.
    Keep those spirits up dear girl.
    Love Rose xxx

  6. Hi Carole,
    Well isn't Djamel a chip off the old block then...the image of his dad, & you are just like your mum. So many precious people in your life...how dare that b*****d disease mess with you. The sooner it's kicked out of your life the better. You have a great following Carole and many thoughts will be with you.
    Maggie xx (I know you don't know me...but we all know you).

  7. Hi Chez,
    I'll email you about the supplements and can promise they HAVE made so much difference to my energy levels and general well-being.

    I think flowers are banned from this particular hospital but am sure I'll get some when I get home again :-)
    (if not, I'll just sulk for days because I think I deserve them after all this..:-)...)

  8. Thank you for the hugs David and I've seen the crew cut and think it's well cool.

    Actually it makes you look younger and definitely not Phil Mitchell(ish)...although with all the woods around your area he'd probably be in his element there :-))

  9. Thanks Paula, and it's true what you say - many people are not paid when off with cancer. It's already the most stressful time without having to worry about being totally skint as well!

    I'd like it made compulsory that ANYONE with cancer should be paid by their employers (who could then claim it back from DSS) because we're worth it!

  10. Hi Shents,
    I didn't think I'd be able to claim anything whilst on half pay (because Rab's working as well?)...I'm not sure yet how my half pay is going to be worked out ie if some is made up of SSP payments claimed by my employer - I'm waiting til the 20th then I'll know.
    I assumed that whilst getting at least *some* pay I wouldn't be entitled to anything else?

    Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts xxxx

  11. Hi Rose,
    Not sure about time in hospital yet - surgeon reckons 14+ days so I'm aiming to be out in 8-10 days (if well enough obviously). I feel I'll recover better/faster once at home and lose the fear of hospital based infections!

    It's great that you worked somewhere that paid you full then half pay - especially with the situation with Ricky. That would have been a nightmare situation. I do appreciate how lucky I am with regard to pay.
    I met with my boss recently and she told me that she'd looked into numerous ways to try to keep me on full pay but this just wasn't possible.
    However I appreciated that she'd even *thought* to investigate the possibility - some employers would be thinking about the easiest way to get rid of me, for cost reasons now.

    Hope you're feeling better too Rose? xxxxx

  12. Hi Maggie,
    Thank you for the lovely comment - Yes, I think I am like my mum but oddly also like my dad too...Genetics eh :-)

    Funny because I've never been able to see the likeness between Djamel and Rab - but other people do see it. (makes note: must go to specsavers...soon...:-)...)

    You're right, the sooner this is kicked into touch the better and having you guys around to keep me going helps so much

    Thank you - all of you - whether family, friends or cyber friends, all of you make me stronger....xxxxxx

  13. Hi Carole
    Glad you've got new date and time to get your energy levels up again the veg's may help till your new supplement's arrive Loretta's just bought a load of new seeds so who knows what we'll be growing next!!
    Anyway you take care now
    Lots of love
    Wendy and George xx

  14. Carole,

    That date is in my diary! I will be coming to visit you but will wait on the nod...stop worrying about everyone else you mother hen you, we will all be just fine...we are in Gods hands now!

    Much Love to you and yours

    T xx

  15. Tony,
    I'll make you a deal, I'll stop worrying about everyone else when you do the same :-))

    J will be in touch with you after the op to tell you whether I'm being a miserable *itch or someone worth visiting :-)
    Much luv xxxx

  16. Hi Wendy & George,

    Loretta's veg is brilliant stuff and I feel comfortable eating it as I know she's not using any nasty chemicals...Tasty stuff too :-)

    Dj is going to help me do a video of your lovely unique gift to me - I can't just do a written post on him, it *has* to be visual and audio.

    Glad to see you've finally mastered the act of leaving a comment :-))))
    Much luv to you both xxxxx

  17. I commend you for your wonderful humour, on your continued positive outlook. Takes a great person to keep on keeping on.

    Date has be noted. Stay strong aunty, give my love to uncle, Djamel and James and the rest of your fam.

    btw your pizza sentence got me salivating.

    love you xxxxxx

  18. Another date at last!

    Re: income, I'm only getting the SSP of £79.15 from work which is for 24 or 26 weeks. However because of my situation have managed go get DLA (not expected to live 6 months/special rules stuff which is standard for my diagnosis but NOT a prognosis). As I am alone I have also applied for Income Support and Council Tax Credit. I am still a few hundred pounds short a month to cover anything but bills/mortgage (ie food, fuel). Lucky family have given me money to pay the mortgage so I can actually buy food, for a couple of months. I did get DLA when I was on full/half pay in my last job when I was first ill - it is not means tested and after your op the fact that you are technically incontinent should entitle you to a guaranteed payment (my stoma did). Talk to MacMillan see who does benefits in your area - for me it's St Barnabas Hospice. They will make sure you get every penny you are entitled to and NOT play things down as people invariable do.

    Here's hoping you heal fast xxx

  19. Hi Lamia,
    I best not tell you then that because they messed up the order we ended up with more pizza than we could actually eat :-) and didn't get charged for most of it either....

    Looking forward to seeing you soon sweetie xxxx

  20. Thanks for that info Lisa, I assumed that I wouldn't actually be entitled to anything because Rab works and I'll be on half pay.
    I will investigate it because every bit will help. The bills don't stop, the mortgage still needs paying and food continues to rise weekly.

    Nice that your family have chipped in to help you out - just wrong that they've needed to really.
    You've worked hard and right now you just don't need any additional stress in your life...if I got my way everyone with a long term illness would get the same standard of living as they've always had prior to illness xxxx

  21. Hi Carole
    My hubbie works FT and I work PT. Didn't make any difference to making a claim. (Things could change soon with all the cuts - so act quick!) I claimed something called Employment and Support Allowance, and I set this up with The Dept for Work and Pensions. Do you have an HR bit where you work? They should put you in touch with them, or failing that, ring your local Jobcentre Plus, and they should be able to help. I spent about an hour on the phone setting it up, but its worth the effort. It is weird entering the world of benefits, but that's what they're there for - to help with the financial stress of being off work. With that little bit of benefit, I ended up getting just a bit less than I would've done on full pay.
    As we say up here 'shy bairns get nowt.' ie. If you don't ask, you don't get! So get on the phone girl!

  22. Thanks Shents,

    I'll let you know how I get on....after today's news regarding the cuts I best get in quick before they decide that cancer isn't a good enough reason to be off work!

  23. Hi Carole...

    So glad you have a new date.. Wow I have not worked in over a year. I was not eligible for unemployment because I had not had sufficient weeks after starting a new job. Right now I am waiting to hear if I can receive disability because i am soon going to be in a serious situation here too.

    Take care love Alli XOX