Going through and dealing with cancer can make you feel very lonely and scared. That’s why I started this blog to help others. I just wanted to share some statistics with you from the Cancer Research UK Website. A website I trust and have used often. All statistics are from England only.
In 2012, 161, 823 people died from cancer
440 people a day die of cancer, one person every 4 minutes!
Cancer accounted for one in every four deaths in 2011
Common cancers making up 46% of all deaths are from lung, bowel, breast and prostate, these are in no order.
One in every 30 of us in the UK are either living with cancer or in remission
There are more than 200 different types of cancer. By 2016 1,000 people a day will have cancer, that’s an estimated 361,000.
Death rates have fallen by 10% over the last decade. The expectation is however that cancer rates will rise again as we are all living longer. Cancer is worse in deprived areas in Britain today.
Those are sadly some of the cold true facts about cancer, the point is you are not alone. I do also worry for the loved ones, family and friends of the person going through cancer. I can see the effects on my family and friends and I feel helpless as I can’t help them with how they feel. Here is a sad but true story for you:
I was at our local park, not long post operation and Steve had to return home quickly for something. So I was left with Molly. I couldn’t stand for long and had to sit on a railing outside the gym until he returned (which wasn’t long). A woman noticed me, she was young and looked physically very fit in her gym outfit. She stopped to talk to me, I must have looked very odd struggling to play with Molly.
She knew all about cancer, her sister had suffered with breast cancer and sadly had to have one breast removed. She herself had breast cancer too but still had both her breasts. She told me about the volunteering work that she did at our local hospital to support suffers of cancer. What I found most distressing was when she told me how many men leave their wives soon after cancer is diagnosised. I was shocked, really shocked but having thought about it, it is an interesting debate for you to have with yourself.
If you were diagnosed with cancer and you weren’t happy with your partner would you leave to find happiness for yourself, or stay. A worse dilemma would be if you were unhappy with your partner and they were diagnosed would you leave them? Or would you stay hoping they would be cured or die and then leave them or be free with a house paid for hopefully out of the insurance money? It’s so sad, but examples of which are so hard to even contemplate but happen every day for lots of people.
I have an old school friend who doesn’t do Facebook but emails me with encouraging words and humour to help me. She has had to have both breasts removed and makes jokes of travelling to work on her bike with her chicken fillets in her ruck sack. She has been married now for 27 years, she has been one of the lucky ones, like me who has a wonderful husband. She has become an expert lingerie shopper and makes the most of what she has or hasn’t got.
Bowel cancer isn’t sexy but I can’t imagine what it must be like to not have my breasts. I know the answer to that actually, you would just have to cope, to just get on with it as best you can because cancer takes away every choice you have.
I like my friend am very lucky as Steve is a devoted husband to me and I know he means it. Unlike other illnesses we are not talking about a few months of disruption we now have cancer with us forever. 90% of people do not die from the original tumour but of when or if the cancer goes secondary or metastasizes . If we are lucky in terms of chemo treatment killing my ‘Harribabes’ including the ones in my neck and gut lymph nodes, we then can move into remission but then face the dreaded continual tests, check up and results.
Today has been hard again for me with side effects. Still awake until 3 am, slept until 6.30 am and then feel so weak for the rest of the day. I have managed to do some project work for work so that I feel that I’m playing my part. I can focus for about an hour, then sleep and then go back to it. The usual side effects that I’ve already spoken about, just stuff that just brings you down. My taste buds have gone now too but I know they will return instead of this chemical taste in my mouth, fresh pineapple can help with this. Chemo slows your body right down, I did get my period but it was 3 days late so no HRT nymphomaniac for Steve yet, poor Steve.
So the moral behind today’s post is if you are blessed with having a good relationship, then you’re lucky. If however you are just putting up with what you have got then don’t wait for disease or old age to come into your life to make you see that we only come this way but once, make the most of what you have. Now I don’t want to be blamed for an increase in divorce rates but I just want you to think about your life.
It’s going to be a strange week for me as I’m looking forward to visitors tomorrow. I have a funeral on Wednesday, my friend who lost her child and Karen starts her chemo cycle number 2 on Thursday. I can’t express how much I worry for my friend, I want us both to beat this and live our life’s again as survivors.
Now tomorrow is going to be a very difficult day for me, my mom and my family. If you read my blog regularly, I’m grateful to you. I am just warning you that you will need a good cup of coffee or tea, at least 2 biscuits and some tissues. It’s a long post for you to get through as I have been working on it for the last 8 days.
If you have never read my blog and you are a first time viewer then you will find out more about me tomorrow then I’ve ever told people, so start at the beginning of my journey with cancer to catch up and then tomorrows post and my daily ramblings will make more sense.