About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Saturday, 30 July 2011

July 13th - The Colonoscopy

I spent most of Tuesday night up and down like a yo yo, and consequently was not too bothered about the noise on the ward and the new additions.

The day started as normal with 'obs', which consist of blood pressure, O2 SATS, temp and pulse measurements & then later on 'meds' obviously medication.

I kept asking what time the colonoscopy was scheduled for but just kept getting told that it was this morning. Now this is pretty frustrating as if I had been an outpatient I wouldn't have been expected to just turn up when the department opened at 9am and waited. 

Eventually the call came and rather than a porter this time I was escorted down to the department by a lovely healthcare assistant and the ward sister. This was after I had changed into a lovely hospital gown. 

The only time I have worn a hospital gown was when I gave birth to Isaac and then you put it on back to front to enable easy access for breastfeeding, skin to skin and all the other things that are important when having a baby. 

I put the gown on, they are rather tight around the neck, snuggled into the bed to protect my modesty and sat back to enjoy the ride. Yep, that's right I loved this part of being in hospital. I never had to get out of bed and I loved it, it meant you could sleep anywhere and had all the people wondering what was wrong with you. 

So we headed down to the endoscopy department and navigated all the corridors and doors and lifts and headed into a cubicle where I had to look over all the paperwork. Finally one of the healthcare professionals came in to discuss the procedure with me. At this point I explained my bad experiences with concious sedation and they were quite sympathetic and offered me a local anaesthetic instead, I was very greatful for this although I think this did lead to more discomfort.

I shall stop there and not tell you about the procedure. If you want to know about colonoscopy's google it!!

Once they had finished they let me know that they had removed a small Polyp and sampled a larger one which was causing an obstruction.

I was taken back to the ward, although by whom I can't quite remember.

I definitely had quite a long sleep after lunch, although what I ate is slightly hazy!!

Shortly after I woke up I had my visit from the kids, Tony and as an extra treat my mum. She had come over from Somerset to help look after the kids as the consultant had been very determined that I wasn't to go home until I had some help to look after them as I wouldn't be able to look after them fully due to the nature of the problem.

While they were all there, the staff nurse came round and said that the doctor was there to see me and did mum want to take the kids off for a few minutes.

This was when the bombshell broke. 

There was no easy way to say it. I remember reaching for Tonys hand and and holding it and squeezing it while he said (& I can remember exactly)

'its not good news, we've found a tumor obstructing your bowel and taken biopsies to determine whether it is cancerous or benign'

My world fell apart. I am 31 years old and am being told that I potentially have bowel cancer.

They explained that the next step was to wait for the results to come back and then they would be discussed in the meeting amongst the consultants, surgeons and associated personnel on the following Tuesday and I would have an appointment the following Wednesday to determine what the follow up treatment would be.

They left then and the staff nurse came back in and asked if we needed anything. We asked her to go and find mum and the kids so that we could tell them the news. 

How do you explain to a three year old that mummy has a potentially cancerous tumor?

When they came in we got them to sit on the bed and explained that the Dr's had found something in mummys tummy and that they had taken lots of pictures to find out what it was but that it would take some time to look at all the pictures and find out what it was.

Then the best news of all. I could go home. They gave me tramadol (a nice strong pain killer) and told me that I would have to call on Monday to find out when my appointment was on Wednesday. If I had any problems in the meantime it would be worth calling the hospital as well.

And then I was home and had to start telling people.

I called all my family and explained what I had been told.

There was a tumor in my bowel that was obstructing it. Biopsies had been taken and the results would be back in a week. It was probably going to require surgery to remove it.

That was it. I was home.