So last week I left you with the fact that my colonoscopy went incredibly well and I passed with flying colours. Not even one tiny polyp visible, which kind of makes me wonder where the one that was left to its own devices, that grew into a large tumour came from really?
Philosophically, I wonder did it come to me as a life lesson?...was I destined to share my positivity about stoma’s with other people? Or was it simply bad luck on my part that age always seems to factor into getting a thorough check up and early cancer diagnosis.
I had been back and forth to many and various GP’s with bowel issues since I was 18 years old. From the get go, without any checks I was told it was IBS...and here’s where my downfall started. Because once IBS is mentioned it seems common sense is never applied after that.
I had bleeding, dreadful pain, and eventually excruciating pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea for about the last 5-7 years before I was eventually diagnosed. And not one doctor thought this needed further investigation...
So from 18-30 it started out as a tiny little polyp, that was allowed to grow into a bigger polyp, then into a tumour and then into an even bigger tumour.
Finally to be found at 36 when I begged and pleaded to be checked further, the pain was indescribable. I literally couldn’t take anymore.
You know why? Because I was “too young” for cancer. If only someone had told the cancer that!
There is no age limit, no upper and no lower. Age limits don’t exist in the world of cancer. Babies can be born with it so let’s stop the crap and work on facts.
If you have symptoms, come to that if for some reason you are ever offered a colonoscopy jump at it!! Take it as the gift that it is! I swear to god it’ll be worth it either way.
Are colonoscopy’s fun? Absolutely not, but they're not hell either. I promise. The prep is unpleasant but do-able, the procedure itself isn’t as issue as they give you the good drugs. ;)
I think the worst part for me was being starved, by the time it was my turn to go to theatre I had gone 37 hours without food, plus bowel prep...this girl was hungry, empty and angry!
Poor poor Chris, or anyone wishing to make chatty small talk come to that! Hahahahaha
How do you feel after? Well my innards felt fine actually, but I did have a very odd side effect.
A nasal oxygen tube was inserted into my left nostril. Ok, sounds reasonable...unfortunately it aggravated my already very sensitive sinuses...
I went into theatre looking positively radiant (even if I do say do myself! Hahahahaha) and came out looking like a right mess!
Literally about 40 mins apart.
I couldn’t stop sneezing, the face pain was awful and my left eye wouldn’t stop watering.
I went for lunch straight after I was let out of hospital, well I had waited long enough to be fed, I had to wear sunglasses indoors. I looked a little strange, but better than having to look at my weepy eye hahahahaha
I would imagine it’s fairly unusual that when people ask how your colonoscopy went you reply “yeah, my tummy is all good but my nose won’t stop running...” as I sneeze at them...
I mean, how far do they go with the colonoscopy probe?!! Hahahahaha
After the procedure I felt absolutely fine in my tummy, I ate chicken and veg at Chopbloc, just to ease myself back in gently.
I had also stocked up on wholesome good food before I had it done. Now I don’t know what the right or wrong thing to eat is, as I lost the info sheet they gave me. But it seemed like a good idea to try and build up the good gut bacteria. I like Kefir so I had plenty of that in the fridge. And loads of healthy soups too. Gentle but filling.
I had my colonoscopy on the Wednesday and my bag didn’t start refilling till Saturday, a very strange experience and somewhat nerve wracking, I would have delighted in it had it not been for the fact I was worried my bowels had broken, but luckily I could hear and feel bowel sounds, and just to be on the safe side I checked with a friend who’s a nurse and she confirmed what I had been hoping, that it can take a good few days to work it’s way through.
Everything is back to normal now, which in my case is output 24/7. I was assured before my op that I’d more than likely go once a day and I’d be able to change my bag and get on with life...but nobody told my bowels that so I go all day and night. Such fun.
With my check ups now down to 5 yearly rather than annually I’m free, literally free! It feels pretty darn good to me. I’m so lucky, so so lucky. I’m incredibly grateful everyday that I got this outcome. Bearing in mind how long my cancer was left unchecked, I was lucky that it was a slow grower. I was lucky that it was at least caught in time enough to save my life, even if it wasn’t in time to save my bowels. And I’m lucky that I have a husband that thinks I’m the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen, even 25 years on! (Well they do say love is blind hahahahahah).
I am full to the brim with luck, love and gratitude.
Chris wanted to buy me a special finishing check ups treat, He managed to track down a dress I had fallen in love with at the wedding we went to a few weeks back, I saw a gorgeous lady with it on, and I asked her where it was from. I hadn’t heard of the make before, Athena Procopiou, it took a fair while of Internet searching but finally he found THE dress...
It’s stunning, it flows like water when the breeze catches it. It’s perfect...
.....apart from a one thing...
The lady I saw it on must not only have been beautiful but also she must be about 6 feet tall!
It arrived after a couple of days of eager anticipation on my part. Only to find that even with my highest wedge shoes it was still touching the floor. It looked like I was a child playing dressing up. Hahahahaha
It had to go back to Athena without it ever getting to fulfil it’s destiny here with me. :(
Nothing ventured nothing gained I guess. After the disappointment of finding out I’m terribly short I decided to have a sort through my wardrobe and came across a few dresses I forget about all the time.
Dress from Esprit, Shoes from Hermes.
I bought this dress on our honeymoon, some 22 years ago...I do still absolutely love it, and it’s stood the test of time, both in aesthetics and colour. 1996 was a great year, actually one of the best, that and 98 were my best ever!
I’m not short of dresses (whether I’m short on stature or not) and I’m always happy to add to the classics collection, but clearly It’s not always about finding a new dress, sometimes it’s about looking at an old one with fresh eyes.
Anyway, I sent it back and ordered a bike instead! Hahahahaha a tad random possibly. But it can’t hurt to get fitter, or at least try.
We went away to the north Norfolk coast for the weekend. We go on holiday a lot so I like to take our dog on holiday at least once a year too.
Dress From Tommy Hilfiger, Top from Ralph Lauren, Shoes from Micheal Kors
I’ve worn this dress with a vest top underneath, and also open like a long waistcoat. It really is very wearable. Smart, casual, beach. Anything goes.
I love the fact that the double layer of fabric and the belt disguise my bag without it looking like I’m trying to. It just works on every level.
Top from Hobbs, Jeans -Joni’s From Topshop.
This top is so comfy, it came with the camisole too, always a bonus, not having to find one that goes.
We always have a wonderful time in Norfolk, it’s stunning. The coast line is almost unbeatable. Vast beaches for Pepper to run free. (She’s terrible with other humans and animals...god knows what she thinks she is?) so it’s sheer bliss to let her run free without care.
If you’re ever passing that way my top beach suggestions would be Old Hunstanton and Holkham. truly stunning.
After a brisk beach run with Pep we decided to go for breakfast at Thornham Deli, again highly recommend it if you’re ever passing.
They also have a home wares shop and clothes, no changing room sadly but plenty of clothes to try. who needs a dressing room when you have a camisole on? Hahahahaha, much to Sam’s embarrassment.
Belly full and purchases made we made our way up the coast road. It’s not spectacular like the PCH but it is very pretty none the less...
You can find all sorts of unexpected places to visit. Which is how come I ended up in a tank and military museum, it wouldn’t be my first choice of places to visit, it wouldn’t be my last choice either but I was out numbered by Sam and Chris. (Just assume there was an eye roll at this point).
That said it was worth the entry fee for the delicious home made apple pie and custard in the cafe there. So alls well that ends well I guess. My carb freeing only lasts until you show me cake and pie. :)
I got back from an amazing weekend away to find my bike had finished being built by the shop I ordered it from. I excitedly drove over to pick it up. I had intended on getting Pepper a basket to go on the front of the bike but she’s a little tricky to handle at the best of times, she’d have gone beserk in reality had I tried to put her in it. But while I was picking up the bike they had these child bike trailers half price, I just felt it’d be silly to leave it behind at that price. And with her cushion inside it’s a highly workable dog trailer!!
We’ve been out for a little trip, I can’t say she was terribly impressed but she has a bit of trouble with her knee joints and couldn’t possibly run beside me and she hates being home alone and has awful separation anxiety so she really is between a rock and a hard place...or in this case a soft cushiony fast moving place.
My plan is to get fitter. Nothing obsessive. As compulsive and addictive as I find a lot of things I don’t think exercise is ever going to be one of them. But exercise has been proven to ward off breast and bowel cancer, I like my breasts and what’s left of my bowels enough to give it a bloody good try!
So being Vegan 3 days a week, No red or processed meats EVER, No alcohol, low carbing and exercise I’m intending of living till I’m a hundred...although I’d settle for a healthy, happy, compos mentis 98. ;)