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, 27 May 2011

'Yes, I'm fine thanks'......

Reason for title to be explained later on in this post.......

I've been back at work now and managed to get through the first half term. This week I did 5 hours per day x 3 days. At the end of week meeting with my office manager (and friend) it was decided that when I return after the half term break I'll be doing 10am to 4pm (6 hours daily) - we've also discussed that 6 hrs is the maximum that I can now do and I'll be thinking hard over the break about permanently reducing my hours.

For the first time ever I now really understand 'Work Life Balance'.

So, been back to work but how am I coping with work?
It's a two sided coin, it's good to be back with the girls and have a laugh about normal stuff during the day (we don't discuss cancer at all)...by the same token it's uncomfortable sitting upright for long periods - the ache in the tumour site has not eased off at all, my left shoulder is another continual ache (and has been since the day after my op - but no-one knows why)...so, as much as it's good to be working again it IS still hard - but I'm doing it and making progress.

I have my appointment on 13th June with the colorectal team - don't expect to find out anything much at all and know I'm going to have to insist on more than a chat but that's okay, I'll deal with all that on 13th.

People stop me and ask 'How are you doing now?'...and I reply 'Yes, I'm fine thanks' because let's face it, most people really really don't want to know how I'm feeling - they just want to hear that 'I'm fine thanks'.

But how am I really feeling?........I'm still waiting for that day when I wake up and feel well - that's how I'm feeling.

Catch up soon

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Special Day Today........:-)

Today is the birth day of my eldest son, James.

Those of you who have followed my blog along will remember that whilst I was in hospital recovering James took over the blog and kept everyone updated. Despite his own worries he managed to keep that smile on his face and convince everyone around him that all in the garden was rosy.

That is very much in keeping with James' personality. He's always been a smiley, happy, content and loving boy (now he's a man of course - but he'll always be my boy)

31 years ago today I gave birth to this little scrap of a thing and remember looking down at the cot and thinking 'Oh God! What have I done, how can I bring up a child on my own with no money, no job, no backup' (his Dad had decided he didn't want children after I found out I was having him)...I think at that point most people expected me to fail.
But I've never really been a quitter - somehow we got through it all together. I grew up WITH James ...in fact, I grew up rapidly overnight then continued to do my growing up with him.

James was always conscious of the fact that we didn't have much money in the early days - he never asked for the things that his friends all had, refused even to have an ice-cream in the park when he was a little boy until he'd asked 'how much does it cost mummy?'
Birthdays and Christmas were special times when I always made sure he got something really special, something I knew he'd had his eye on but would never have asked for. He always appreciated even the smallest of things.

In short, my boy has always been one in a million - we survived the odds together and I look at him now - married to the most beautiful girl, a home owner, good job with a future and feel nothing but admiration and total love for him.

Have a fantastic day James :-)

From this little scrap below

To this gorgeous man.....

Happy Birthday to my first born, very special, son James xxxx

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Good Luck Shents.......

This is to say

GOOD LUCK to Shents and her team who are doing the Moonwalk in London this weekend.

It's still not too late to sponsor her if you'd like to...the link to her blog is on the left hand side of mine.

26 miles in your undies Shents in London Spring weather is no 'walk in the park'....LOL, sorry couldn't resist that one.

They start out around midnight from Hyde Park in London and walk 26 miles overnight throught the streets of London....even if you don't want to sponsor her, please send out positive thoughts to keep them going.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Back at work.......

I've been back at work now since 26th April. I'm doing a phased return - at the moment just 4 hours a day 3 days a week and although I thought I'd be able to 'up' my hours quite quickly, I realised after the first 2 weeks that I need to pace myself.

I was going to try to increase my hours this week to 5 hours per day but after a meeting with my Office manager she convinced me to stick to the 4 hrs for now - and to be honest she's right. I'm feeling uncomfortable sitting upright for long periods, I'm way more tired than I thought I'd be after working just a few hours - but at least I'm back in the land of 'normal' once again.

Today we discussed getting me a cushion or back rest to support my lower back whilst sitting. I'm going to look into this tomorrow as this dull ache is really draining. The achy pain is in the original tumour site - it could well be scar tissue, it could also be because the bloody wound still hasn't healed or it could be something more sinister.
Right now I don't have the answers - so I'll get a cushion support organised and see how it goes.

Not long now until my 'chat' with the colorectal nurses when I have my check up in June.

I've been trying to find out what the 'standard' post op care plan is for colorectal cancer. What I've discovered is that there is no 'standard' post op care plan - it varies from region to region.

The charity 'Beating Bowel Cancer' gave me some advice about probable reasons for not scanning me for 12 to 18 months after surgery....... Basically it's because they don't want to subject me to further Radiation haha bloody ha....
I kinda think that the original treatment - that burned me so badly - would have already caused any future problems and it's unlikely that a scan is now going to do more damage than what has already been done.
Today I found out that a cyber friend who had the same op as me in December (a month after my op) has already had a check up scan. Mine is another 6 months away as things stand at the moment.

I can't feel 'clear' of this until I've got some proof. So although I'm moving on by returning to work, I'm not really moving on at all - if you understand what I mean.

Heyho...the fight goes on........

PS. If you've had colorectal cancer I'm really interested in hearing about your post op care. How long after surgery was your first / second scans etc and any other info.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

5th May - Mum's Birthday :-)

Happy Birthday to Mum.

Mum and Dad have gone to Rhodes to spend the next two weeks with Sarah...I know they were hoping for nice weather (although they wouldn't have actually cared if it did rain every day).

Here's a weather report for you Mum - enjoy your birthday and relax in the sunshine for the next 2 weeks :-)

May 05
Sunny69°/61°0 %
May 06
Sunny / Wind68°/58°0 %
May 07
Sunny / Wind67°/57°0 %
May 08
Sunny66°/57°0 %
May 09
Sunny68°/59°0 %
May 10
Sunny69°/61°0 %
May 11
Mostly Sunny70°/61°0 %
May 12
Mostly Sunny69°/62°10 %
May 13
Sunny70°/62°0 %
May 14
Sunny70°/62°0 %
Last Updated May 5 08:20 a.m. Local Time

This is the view that they woke up today........

Which is a HUGE improvement on what they usually wake up to....below

Have a lovely time and a great birthday

Lots of luv from us all xxxx