Angels, do your best

Monday 30 November, 2009 by jude

Well, it's been 3 and a half years on and l still cry when l hear the word 'cancer', for you see I had 3rd stage bowel cancer and had nearly all my large bowel removed.

Six months on chemo on a new trial drug that froze the muscles in your face when you went out in the cold or wind. Not only that but the fact that l have no gallbladder or thyroid. My cancer was only discovered when l had a massive rectum bleed.

Now my toileting is bad, as I go to the toilet up 15 times a day. I eat almost anything but have to watch what I eat more closely and I can get the runs. I'm overweight (obese) and I know I need to loose weight, but it's hard when you get the runs or you get bad cramps that leave you on the floor curled up in agony.

I'm still waiting for a colonoscapy and worry that if it's spread then it could be too late. I can't afford it out of pocket. There's not day that goes by when I don't think about the moment I found out. I was frightened, felt alone and helpless.

My father died of cancer at the age of 52 and I remember watching him for several months dying.

Most of my older friends have died from this monster disease too.

But you know what, when I sit alone in the warm sun and smell the fresh cut grass, I watch and listen to the world I never heard before, so clearly and you feel and hear everything you took for granted.

I paint, garden, joined puppy school and went back to school to do Aged Care - now I'm helping those that are sick or dying, or the aged who need help. I offer them dignity and laughter. We share stories and I learn a lot from other people.

They help me understand life and not feel pity. Make the most of life and learn to feel again.

There will be good days and bad days. I cry, I laugh, I think of my sons and hope I will still be here when they finish school.

Sometimes worrying makes things worse.

When I go to bed at night I often say a little prayer and it goes like this 'Angels, North, South, East, and West, please look after me and do your best.'

If you or anyone you know has bowel cancer you may find it helpful to read our bowel cancer pages. You can also call the Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 and speak with a cancer nurse.

Updated: 30 Nov, 2009