How do you feel about cancer….
I was not sure how to answer the question. I was interviewed by Radio Aire (regional radio) last night and this is played throughout the day on the news, which is great for the awareness but I must admit I feel a little downgraded from last year as I was on the TV 🙂 but when asked 2 questions on how I feel, I went silent.
Today is Pancreatic Cancer Day (13th November) it is the first time that Pancreatic Cancer UK have held this day, and they have
So Happy Pancreatic Cancer Day! OK, I won’t be pulling a party popper just yet, but this cancer certainly needs more funding and awareness.
It truly is needed as the stats have not changed in the past 40 years. Pancreatic Cancer is become the 5th most common cause of all cancers deaths in the UK.
I have decided to put a blog item to do my small bit towards this day, and hope that my small donation my create a bit of awareness.
The reason why I went so silent at the question, how do I feel about cancer is I am not sure how I feel any more, there is so much that as happened that when it comes to feelings, to put it simply, sometimes I just don’t, and then there are other times I can be over emotional and feel too much.
In my blogs I write about ‘my situation’ and never really spell it out, there is reason behind this and the reason is, at times I find it hard to face ‘my situation’ that I am in, so for the sake of the campaign I want to share about it on the blog.
September 2011 I was told I had Pancreatic Cancer after going a strange yellow colour, itching, having back pain, and my stool looking like I have had a diet of kabbabs. I was then told that only 10% can be operated, I was lucky, I was one of the 10%. I was then told that even with the lucky 10% the chances are (80%) that it will come back within the next couple of years.
It did come back, it came back to my liver. I sat with my oncologist as he told me that there was nothing they could do about it.
No one said the word terminal, I am not sure if that is normal. We walked away to get ready to tell the family.
Rob, my partner found on the PCUK website some new treatment called Nanoknife, this treatment cooked the tumour, and I could only have this done privately, yet again, with luck, with my work I have healthcare. When I asked my oncolgist about this, he said he had not heard of the treatment. I got the impression not to get too excited about it. Nanoknife was not covered on my healthcare and the 10,000 pound a night hostpial to have the proceedure wasnt too, but after meeting the professor that did the treatment, he said that his team could do a simalar treament in another hospital where the insurance could pay for this.
It worked, the tumour was killed, and with that and a very rough 6 months of chemo my tumour blood count went down from 200s to 18.
I now have a CT scan every 3 months, my oncolgist can not advice me because he as never been in this stiuation before. I can not tell you what my nerves are like that day! but that is now what i call, ‘my situation’
I am now back at work, back pushing my business, and back in the gym. I had an email from a lady that I have been in contact with via emails and this blog, (I hope she doesnt mind me putting this in) – she puts (in a more eloquent way than I have put, about how it all can effect how you feel).
“You probably are familiar with the theory of learned helplessness. It grew out of some unfortunate, cruel animal experiments in the 1960’s. When dogs, or people for that matter, come to feel that they have no control over their situation, when bad things repeatedly happen to them and they cannot escape or avoid these things, they eventually just stop trying to escape the bad shocks. And once a window or doorway is opened for them to escape, they do not run. Depression, anxiety, phobias, and feelings of isolation, etc., can most definitely be exacerbated by learned helplessness. I have come to believe that this disease, PC, and all its dire outlooks and scary testing, hair loss, set-backs, pain, and all the rest can lead (me, at least) to a place of learned helplessness. There are many other real world examples of this involving humans.
The thing is, Carl, since I have read your blogs I have felt less helpless, less alone, less afraid. I have recognized that in the face of this cruddy situation I should do more, try harder, celebrate more often. It is not easy, the way you have chosen to deal with this, but it is wonderful! You have seen the humor, learned and documented the lessons, and worked, while enjoying Market Wraps. So what if it has thrown you for a bit of a loop this round? You won! I am so charmed by your looking forward to looking forward again. Thank you.”
I must admit, the email did my ego some good! but its true, with the trauma of chemo, with the changes of the massive operations, with the changes of phycology of yourself and then of others and how they react towards you, this all as a massive effect on how you feel, and then I guess, who you become.
Cancer as played with the way I look in the past 2 years I have had more new looks!
and as i am now:
The last picture as nothing to do with cancer, its more sadly due to genetics, but at least it proves, whatever cancer throws at me that changes me physically, I have had it worse! and I can deal with it.
With all the changes that cancer can bring, not just physical, but mental, you do get to a point where you are not sure who you are, or who you have become. With all the changes it can make you become ‘helpless’.
I find it impossible to ignore ‘my situation’ but, personally that’s how I try and become less helpless. By getting on with it, and do you very best to brush yourself down and get back up again.
So, yet again, Happy Pancreatic Day! I really hope that it does create more awareness, gets better statistics, and gets more funding.