MY STORIES

HOW I STOPPED
TEMPTATION

I am a colon cancer, also known as bowel cancer. I might sit in people's bowels for months, not giving them any trouble. Or I might give them very little symptoms, like blood in their faeces, strong tummy pains. Some doctors might miss the signs, specially if you are young.

A few BBC articles for reference purposes:

BBC News 02.10.2015 General Practitioners being paid to cut patient referrals.

Some people might even dismiss it, because it is unusual to have it at 33 years old, instead of the usual over 50 years old.

BBC News 10.04.2019 My bowel cancer was missed because I'm young.

BBC News 17.05.2019 Bowel cancer rates rising 'among young adults' A sharp rise in rates in 20 to 29-year-olds. Researchers are not clear why this is happening, but say obesity and poor diet could be factors. Experts urged doctors not to ignore symptoms in young people.

By the time mum knew she had it, she was in the Accidents and Emergencies department, like many others:

BBC News 22.11.2019 Cancer: One in five cancer diagnoses 'in Emergency Departments.

Mum had have very strong tummy pains. This in short it’s because the cancer was blocking her bowels, so she could not go for a poo. After endless hours of waiting in pain, in a not ideal temporary room, she was given a bed to stay in. My brother had to wait, and with the uncertainty and noise of nurses and patients, as well as a chair placed in a tiny corner, there was barely any chance to sleep.

In the hospital they put something in her bum, to allow the poo to pass, so her tummy would have a workaround to relieve her. They did lots of tests for her, we were in agony, waiting for results or more news to come for weeks.
She could end up in Phase 1, 2, 3 or 4. In phases 3 and 4, you are guaranteed to need chemotherapy that would make your hair and immune system go, and possibly radiotherapy, and perhaps another operation. This would involve dozens of appointments.

We were lucky mum was on phase 1, so they caught it on time. She has thin veins, so the nurses struggled to inject her medication. Her hands and arms were swollen and itchy, from the inflammation that the injections produced.

She was starved off food, as her tummy was not able to digest easily. She had to be cleaned before tests. By cleaned, I mean swallowing laxative medicine, that made her poo every 10 minutes.

She also has diabetes, so her sugar levels went really high when they put a nutrition bag on her, so they had to inject more insulin to balance it out. She did not get a whole night’s sleep. She had side effects from the operation. Either our, or her hospital roommate's family and friends were at times loud. We had to shower her daily.

We were stressed out, having to look after her, juggling work and our daily responsibilities. We felt powerless, and sad to see her suffer. From this tragedy, a relationship was repaired.

BBC News 19.04.2018 Skin implant could help warn of cancer, scientists say by looking for elevated levels of calcium in the blood, which is linked to 4 types of cancer: breast, prostate, lung and bowel - as well as kidney failure. .

Mum was depleted of calcium, having had 6 children, so she overcompensated by having lots of milk, cheese and yoghurts. Without vitamin D, our calcium eats our own calcium, so there is far more risk of osteoporosis. We seem to have too much calcium in our diet, and not enough magnesium.

Some people will need to be fitted with a poo bag, as their bowel will be unable to function properly. In worst cases, they will keep that poo bag for life. This means they always have to carry and empty the bag.

#outsmartcoloncancer

WHAT I LEARNT

- We are definitely what we eat.
- Sugar feeds cancer.
- Processed foods contribute to cancer.
- People is unaware food can be harmful.

WHAT I DO NOW


- I avoid processed food, if it lasts more than 3 days, it's probably full of chemicals.
- I no longer indulge in snacks, I see them as poison.
- I no longer buy sugar or alcohol for people.