In February 2016 I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer (non operable) and multiple nodules spread across both my lungs. This came as quite a shock as I thought I had internal piles and never for a second did I think this would ever happen to me. …….wrong, wrong, wrong! The one thing I have learnt is that cancer does not discriminate and can happen when you least expect it.
What happened next is a bit of blur, firstly I had to leave a job that I had just started that month and with a company I absolutely love, Hillier Garden Centres. Next came 3 months of chemotherapy but no hair loss, yipeee!!!
never for a second did I think this would ever happen to me. …….wrong, wrong, wrong!
Whilst chemotherapy is a tough gig it is more than achievable and bear in mind I was scared of sitting in a dentists chair, sad but true but not anymore of which is the first positive.
Next up was 5 weeks of radiation therapy (25 sessions in total). Whilst receiving this treatment I had the pleasure of meeting many inspirational people all of whom gave me strength and it felt like a 2nd family for a while. At this point the effects of both treatments did start to show but I felt a sense of achievement because I had managed to drive myself each day and enjoy the sunshine and Brighton, this became my 2nd positive along with the people I had met.
In between treatments you have periods of rest and my surgery was scheduled for 2nd November. This was exciting as when first diagnosed there was NO talk of operating. My operation was performed and I returned home a week later with part of bowel removed and a permanent colostomy, a small price for life, my 3rd positive.
All was going well until scan in early March which determined that not only had the multiple lung nodules grown but were secondary cancer and there was further spread to my liver. Now classed as terminal my only hope is either chemotherapy to slow it down or this exciting drug, Keytruda that is already working miracles on some cancers and is now in trials for colon cancer.