Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 18 – Know Your Colostomy from your Ileostomy

Cancer & Me, Colosto-ME

Day 17 – My DictiOSTOMY!

This is something that is commonly confused, especially by the media, so this is basically it in my version of a dictionary – My DictiOSTOMY

STOMA

Stoma, literally translated, means ‘mouth’ or opening.  In this case referring to the opening from the colon coming through the abdomen.

COLOSTOMY

The more common, or at least the most referred too, is the colostomy.  A colostomy is formed by a stoma being made from the large intestine and brought through the abdomen wall.  A colostomy bag can then be attached to the skin to collect any waste.  A colostomy hangs on the persons left side.

ILEOSTOMY

An ileostomy is basically the same as a colostomy but it is made from the small intestine and the waste is generally still a liquid.  An ileostomy bag is then attached to the skin again to collect waste.  An ileostomy hangs on the persons right side.

OSTOMY

Keeping it general, it is referring to be both colostomy’s and ileostomy’s.

OSTOMATE

Someone who has an ostomy.

So there you have it, a little break down of the lingo so you know what we are all talking about! 🙂

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow this blog by clicking follow on the right (underneath if your on your mobile)  

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

For Bowel Cancer Awareness Month I will be blogging daily about Bowel Cancer to help raise money for Bowel Cancer Awareness UK.  Please give what you can to this fabulous charity.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 14 – When I Knew Something Was Wrong and My Symptoms

Cancer & Me, Colosto-ME

Day 14 – When I Knew Something Was Wrong and My Symptoms

I will always remember the look on the colonoscopy consultant’s face when he told me he had found a tumour he believed to be cancerous.  Pure shock.  The nurse looked like she was going to cry and my husband’s jaw was somewhere near the floor.  This was the beginning of me having cancer for them.  But for me, my cancer experience had started much earlier…

I had been getting rectal bleeding, that was very on and off, for around 8 years.  A classic sign of Bowel Cancer.  Over the years I had visited various GPs but they always said the same, that I was too young to have Bowel Cancer (a common misconception –  Remember Day 4?)  It was probably a small internal cut and if the bleeding went, there was nothing to worry about (another misconception – Remember Day 5?) The bleeding would stop, so that was that. In hindsight this could have probably been dealt with in the early stages if my initial concerns and symptoms had been taken seriously.

This is why I keep repeating over and over during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) that

the only way to truly know is to have a colonoscopy so get a referral from your GP!

The rectal bleeding now combined with discomfort when going to the toilet became intolerable during my second pregnancy in 2011.  I returned to the GP three times during that pregnancy, always with the same responses from the GP.  When my symptoms continued after my daughter was born, I quite literally fought for tests until my GP gave in and referred me for a colonoscopy.  The colonoscopy consultant found the tumour before he had even inserted the camera.

My daughter was only 6 weeks old and my son had just turned 2 years old.

Another symptom was extreme tiredness and fatigue but its only on reflection I am able to see that.  At the time I just put it down to life!  Being a new mum.  A lot going on.  Like I said, life.  Having said that I had said to my husband before “I swear there is something wrong with me, I know I have all these things going on but it can’t be normal to be this tired all the time!”  Now I know it is because my body was attempting to fight my cells turning on themselves.

I know it is harder to diagnose but do keep an eye on your energy levels as they can be a strong indicator that something is wrong.

 

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow this blog by clicking follow on the right (underneath if your on your mobile)  

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

For Bowel Cancer Awareness Month I will be blogging daily about Bowel Cancer to help raise money for Bowel Cancer Awareness UK.  Please give what you can to this fabulous charity.

eb5da906562f43395f04c8665f6f694c

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 13

Cancer & Me

Day 13 – Take Responsibility for Your Own Health

If you are unhappy with the direction your GP is taking, do not be nervous to ask for a second opinion or to push for a referral.

It is what doctors are there for… to assist you with your health.

Unfortunately things do occasionally get overlooked or misdiagnosed, or a certain doctor may have fixed ideas of a Bowel Cancer patient which they don’t believe you fit into.

That is why it is important that you take responsibility for your own health.  That means know your own body, know when something is wrong and have the confidence to make sure someone does something about it!

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 9

Cancer & Me

Did you know Oats are like natures natural loofa for your intestines? As the move through the intestine they gentler clean and drag toxins out with them making them great for a healthy bowel!

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 8 – The Truth of the Colonoscopy

Cancer & Me, Colosto-ME

A colonoscopy is a simple procedure where a tiny camera is inserted in to the colon so the doctor can see exactly what is going on in the large intestine.

Before the Procedure…

You have to drink what can only be described as a minging drink, which will act as a laxative to empty the bowel.  This allows the doctor to get a good look at the intestine lining.  I’m not going to lie, it’s not the most pleasant experience (especially when you have a colostomy), but it’s a lot more pleasant than  having cancer or whatever illness you are being checked for, trust me!

Top Tip – Stay at home when you take the drinks so you can be near your own toilet, things do get moving quite quickly and frequently.

At the Colonoscopy…

You may be offered gas and air or a sedative, I have done both and I would definitely recommend the sedative.  It makes the procedure much more comfortable.  The sedative is given through an injection in the back of the hand.

Top Tip – Do not worry about the procedure.  I remember being so freaked out by the thought of having the procedure but in truth, the thought of having a colonoscopy is immeasurably worse than the reality.

The camera is entered through the rectum, so you will lay on your side so the doctor can insert the camera.  Or if you have an ostomy, the camera will be entered through the stoma.  Pictures from the camera are shown on a TV screen so you may be able to look – should you be so inclined?!

They Looking For…

Any irregularities in the bowel lining.

Polyps, which are small growths that the doctor can remove using a small polyp remover that is on the end of the camera.

Top Tip – You won’t feel anything if they do remove polyps, so don’t be concerned about that.

After the Colonoscopy…

You will be given a little time to rest and relax and allow the sedative to wear off.

The doctor or nurse should speak with you and let you know how the procedure went, as well as if they removed any polyps or tissue for biopsy.  Results from a biopsy can take a few days and they should be able to let you know exactly how long and how you will get your results when they speak with you.

Top Tip – In my case, they discovered a large cancerous tumour and I was taken aside so the consultant could speak with me privately and give me my diagnosis.  I had my husband with me and appreciated having the support when getting the news.  If possible I would try to have someone you trust with you.

You will not be able to drive if you have had a sedative so arrange for someone to take you home.

Occasionally having the procedure can cause some problems to the large intestine…  

I have had 3 or 4 colonoscopy’s now and have never had a problem but do speak with your doctor if you experience any of the following…

  • Abdominal pain – particularly if it becomes gradually worse or is different from any ‘usual’ pains that you may experience.
  • A high temperature.
  • Passing a lot of blood from the rectum.

Colonoscopy’s really are the most effective way to see if you have any kind of growths in the bowel.  CT and MRI scans only show part of what is going on inside the intestine.

If you are genuinely concerned about a bowel condition, make sure that your GP refers you for a colonoscopy, nothing else will really give the insight needed.

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

174

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 6

Cancer & Me

Did you know…  Bowel Cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer and the third biggest cancer amongst women.

Bowel Cancer is also very treatable if caught early so head to your GP for a referral if you have any of the main symptoms…

symptoms_210_wide

And remember – DO NOT LET THEM TURN YOU AWAY BECAUSE OF YOUR AGE!

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 5

Cancer & Me

Another common misconception about Bowel Cancer… If you experience rectal bleeding and then it goes away, that doesn’t mean it was nothing.

This is something I was told by a GP and was something a lady I recently spoke to had also heard the same statement from her GP.

colon_cancer-resized-600.jpgI was told that if the bleeding stopped, that would indicate that it was probably a small tear in the colon and nothing to worry about.  I now know this is not always the case.  Polyps – which can develop into cancerous tumours – can bleed sporadically.  So just because the bleeding has stopped, it doesn’t mean that everything is OK.

 

The only way to truly know is to have a colonoscopy so get a referral from your GP! 

More in colonoscopy’s soon…..

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 4

Cancer & Me

The biggest misconception about Bowel Cancer – AGE!

More specifically that it’s an ‘old’ persons illness.

I went undiagnosed for 4 years based purely on my age. In Bowel Cancer terms I’m very young – nice to be young in some way – and was told many times I was too young to have Bowel Cancer. Since having cancer I have met a number of people who have been in their forties, thirties, even twenties. 

Never let you age be the sole reason for sending you for further tests, it’s just not that straight forward! 

#Never2Young



If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 3

Cancer & Me

images-2The Signs and Symptoms of Bowel Cancer

There are a few symptoms that you can look out for, but my advice would be, if you are unsure about anything, see your GP and don’t leave until they have referred you!

If you want to know more about how I got diagnosed you can read all about it here.

  • Rectal bleeding – blood in your poo or in the pan.
  • A change in bowel habits that last for longer than 3 weeks.
  • Unexpected weight loss.
  • A pain or lump in your stomach area.

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Day 2

Cancer & Me

flexi-sigWhat is Bowel Cancer?

Cancer in the large or small intestines right down to the rectum is commonly referred to as Bowel Cancer – so that includes colon cancer, colorectal cancer and rectal cancer.

Most Bowel Cancer tumours develop from polyps in the intestines.  If polyps are caught early they are usually non-cancerous and they can be very easily removed through a colonoscopy.

If you like my blog, nominations for Brilliance in Blogging are now open,
find out about the #BiBs and how to nominate here…

Make my day and follow my blog.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!