Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Big C

Well it’s you or me. That’s pretty much all it boils down to these days. Odds are that everyone reading this blog knows someone who is affected by cancer, a staggering 1 in 11 women will eventually be diagnosed with breast cancer. The odds are even higher for prostate cancer in men.
My boss is 52, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, is fairly fit and has just been diagnosed with bowel cancer, it’s pretty bad but thankfully operable – he is currently 4 weeks of the way through 6 weeks of daily Chemo & Radiation treatments that make him sick as a dog in order to be able to go under the knife and remove the tumour that has apparently been slowly and silently trying to kill him for years.
My husband had a scare recently which currently has him sitting on a waiting list to have his right kidney and part of his bladder removed, this little process also involved a phone call from the doctor informing us that they were in discussions with various specialists, “but hopefully it is benign”. Nothing like those words to scare the bejesus out of you and make you re-think everything about your life. Thankfully for us, the specialists have decided that it is benign although they won’t know for sure until the op is done and the dodgy kidney is tested.
I go to the local Garden Club in my area, and while I am approx 30years younger than everyone there I absolutely love it. We eat great food, share great company and great advice and also as it turns out, a great deal of cancer. Probably 60% of the members are currently undergoing treatment for various cancers, are in remission or are heading towards the palliative care part of the deal.
At garden club yesterday, a lovely lady by the name of Benita attended from a group I had vaguely heard of but never paid a much attention to called CanAssist. They are a community run organisation that helps with the financial difficulties that can occur for Cancer sufferers, particularly those in rural areas. Everything from helping out with the cost of travelling to Chemo through helping pay the electricity bill – Benita pointed out that someone suffering from bone cancer needs to keep the house a lot warmer than most people and someone with lung cancer may require oxygen 24/7. These extra costs add up fast and that’s where CanAssist comes in.
The money that is raised stays in that area to help the local people. The organisation receives less than 8% financial support from the government and rely on fundraising efforts and donations from the community, so if you are interested you can go to the CanAssist website for details about donating to your local group or for information if you require financial assistance yourself or know someone who might.  
In the mean time, if you are still smoking try and quit again, Ladies don’t forget to check your boobs for any lumps or changes and suck it up and get that pap test you have been putting off done. Encourage all the male members of your family who are over 40 to go to the doctor for a prostate check – Technology has come a LONG way over the years and there are no longer any embarrassing exams, it’s a single simple little blood test and it could save their life – it saved my Father In Law!
How has cancer affected your life?


Tatum said...

Cancer sucks. My FIL was diagnosed with cancer of the eosophagus last year, he's has chemo and radiation but surgery isn't an option because there was evidence of secondaries. I had my head shaved on daffodil day to raise $ for the Cancer Council. As I've gotten older I've seen more and more people affected, especially amongst my parents friends. I hope that your boss ends up with a good prognosis after his treatment and that everything is okay with your husband. Tatum xx

Lene said...

I worked in a Preschool for ten years. During that time there were at least 6 young Mothers I knew personally who where diagnosed with breast cancer. Most of them made it through, I remember very clearly the one young mum who didn't. Unusually we also had a Father diagnosed with breast cancer...yes! Men can get it too! Uncommon but not impossible.

Your post is very timely, my best friend had just had tests done to eliminate the possibility of breast cancer, luckily they all came back clear. The stress of waiting for results was very difficult for her and her family (and friends!)

By the way, I've just nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award. Pop over to my blog to check it out!

Mum's the word said...

Cancer sucks, I have two close friends in their early 30s both diagnosed. Terrible and the thing is the odds are so high everyone should be worried.. I think being aware of your body and trying to keep an eye on any changes is the only way.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

My husband had a rare malignant tumour cancer last year (side of his head/temple muscle) not somewhere you would imagine. He had 6 wks radiation too.
Checking and being vigilant about any changes is so important.
Your hubby is in my thoughts ,as are you because I know wives worry more about the hubbies. It is terrible anyone has to wait.
Thoughts are with your boss too. 1 in 2 is far too many.