Dealing with Cancer – Part 3 – the ‘fatberg’

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Above: ‘the fatberg’ found in a London sewer in 2018.

No, you have not missed Part 2.  Part 1B of my cancer journey was dealt with in 2018. 95% of it as it turns out. After surgery and radiotherapy I was given a 5% chance of it re-occurring within 5 years. So, with most of my female ‘bits’ removed, on I went… to pink stiffs (see previous post on sexual healing) and pelvic floor exercisers.

Now it’s 2019 and here I go again, back on the merry go round of tests, scans and whatever. I say whatever, because as of yet all I know is I have what looks like a ‘fatberg’ in my colon – it was immediately diagnosed as a malignant cancer tumour. It might not be the 5% – it could be something new. Ouch!  (Ouch is a good word – a hint to the wise – do not agree to a colonoscopy without sedation)

As for the liquid enema you have to take before a colonoscopy – well I found lacing it with orange cordial and matching it gulp to gulp with lemon cordial followed by a hard fruit sweet in between attempts worked for me. It was not nice to drink but not as obnoxious as other people said they had found it.

The first batch did not work for me in the 2 hour window of rest before the second batch – I was about 2/3rds of the way into second batch when my bum exploded. It lasted about 8 hours, so take no notice of the guidelines the NHS give you. I abandoned the last glassful as I had lost the will to live by then and I was still puffing yellow smoke when I got to the hospital for the tests at lunchtime.

Hint – buy some big sanitary pads – you might need one before the colonoscopy and afterwards as well, as they fill you full of air and lubricant and there might be detritus from biopsies and tattoos (they marked the tumour with black ink of some kind).

Christies told me last year that the only way we would know if I had cancer again was if I began to bleed as scans and x rays would not show it up. Well I haven’t bled, but have been feeling rotten and not wanting to eat. I’ve done the Googling and so I know what I’m dealing with:

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/bowel-cancer/colon

I had three of the symptoms:

  • feeling that you haven’t emptied your bowel properly after you poo
  • unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness
  • a lower than normal level of red blood cells (anaemia)

Fortunately I have a pro-active GP and she immediately fast tracked me for camera up and down investigations. 

I also have a tender spot on my right side and was beginning to wonder if my appendix was grumbling. Turns out the ‘fatberg’ is sat right above it – which explains why my trouser waistbands had started to be uncomfortable – even though I have lost a fair amount of weight this last six months, they were pressing down on the tumour. I have switched to wearing leggings temporarily for comfort – not the most elegant of things to put on little fat knobbly 65 year old legs, but needs must.

So there you have it – a new adventure for 2019. At least this time I know how the system works. I will keep you posted.

 

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About starspeakman

Poet, Writer, healer, nature photographer
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