The Silent Cancer Side Effect – Fatigue

Any Human Heart, Cancer & Me

Just to be extremely clear, fatigue is not the same as being really, really, really, tired. It is more than that, and takes hold of your whole being, physically and mentally. Anyone who has had children will probably know what I am talking about, right?  But it’s permanent.

Fatigue takes a toll both physically and mentally. If you are anything like me you are completely hopeless after a bad nights sleep. With fatigue it feels like that all the time, times a million.

Even simple activities, or activities that you wouldn’t normally consider taxing like watching a movie or reading a book can suddenly feel like way to much and like it would require far too much effort.

Signs Of Having Fatigue

  • You don’t feel anymore restored or awake even when you have had a good nights sleep.
  • You feel like nothing can restore your energy.
  • You are often unable to finish tasks, even when you desperately want to achieve them.
  • The above point is usually coupled with a severe lack of concentration.
  • You may also find that you suffer with memory loss as a result.
  • Physically, the lack of energy can mean it is physically draining to undertake the simplest of physical activities.
  • There may even be loss of motor skills.

I really can’t stress enough to severity of fatigue. And, it’s beyond annoying!

You want to be up and about, trying to live a normal life but feel unable to do anything, it is infuriating! Even more annoyingly it can last for years after cancer treatment has finished.

imagesFor me, fatigue was the worst the years after I had cancer and finished my treatment. I think it was a combination of my body healing, riding itself of an unbelievable amount of chemicals and poisons and getting over the emotional side of everything that I had just been through. Hardly surprising but still unforgivably annoying.

I really wanted to make a point about the fatigue because it so easily gets overlooked. Even when you are the one with cancer, I think it is hard to identify it within yourself. Energy levels will fluctuate too much from one day to the next when you have cancer and/or fatigue that one day you will think your fine and the next day you are on the floor and I think the unpredictability of it can be equally hard.

The intensity of the fatigue will inevitably vary from person to person so just because I experienced it quite severely doesn’t mean that you (or your loved one) will, but I would keep an eye out for it and just be extra sympathetic to yourself if you aren’t able to do things as often or as quickly as you hoped.

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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…

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

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Bowel Cancer Awareness Month!

Cancer & Me

HAPPY BOWEL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH EVERYONE!

BowelCancerUKYes April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month.  A chance to talk about all things Bowel Cancer related.  Yay!

To help raise awareness, everyday this month I will be posting information, articles, what to look for, facts and how tops…  So stay tuned to find out all the information you need.

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Know Your Chemo from your Radio

Cancer & Me

One of my lovely readers emailed asking if I could explain the difference between chemo and radiotherapy.  So here we are…

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is traditionally given via intravenous drip administered in hospital but you can now get chemotherapy tablets that can be taken at home.  Once in your blood stream, chemo can be taken the whole way round your body, treating cancerous cells, anywhere.

Cells divide themselves to reproduce, which is usually how we retain a healthy body but when we have cancerous cells dividing and reproducing, cancerous tumours form and spread.  Chemo stops your cells dividing and reproducing.  The only problem is, it stops your healthy cells as well, which is part of the reason people on chemo get so ill.  But the healthy cells will get better, the cancerous cells won’t – take that cancer!!

Personally I had both.  An intravenous session followed by two weeks of taking tablets everyday at home.

If you want more detailed information on chemotherapy, Macmillan have this wonderful leaflet…

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is literally a radiation ray or beam that targets the sight of your cancer.  It is given via a large x-ray type machine.  Radiotherapy is usually given daily over a period, in my case it was every day for six weeks.

Unlike chemo, it usually only affects the area it targets.  You will be given a scan to determine exactly where radiologists will be aiming the machine, then you are given tiny tattoos so that they get the exact place every time.  There will always be some healthy tissue damaged by radiotherapy but the precise nature of scans and tattoos is to ensures its minimal.

Radiotherapy can burn the skin quite badly, in my case it was very uncomfortable as it burnt my undercarriage but the physical effects are generally easier than with chemo.

If you want more information about radiotherapy or internal radiotherapy, have a look here at Macmillan’s website….

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The Stupid Things People Say When You Have Cancer!

Cancer & Me

When You Find Out You Have Cancer…

I would prepare yourself for when people say (what I think) are very stupid things. The most common comment being “I knew someone who had cancer and died”, seriously, who are you helping when you say that? There is also my personal favourite, “just think positively and you’ll be fine”. Don’t get me wrong, positivity is great and positively encouraged, but cancer is a little more complicated than that. Cancer is not purely a mental test with your survival the prize. Nevertheless, people will tell you to be positive, A LOT!

You may also find that you end up consoling the person you have just told rather than the other way around. Personally didn’t mind this, I actually started becoming quite offended if people didn’t need consoling – don’t they care? Just kidding, obviously they did, presumably they were holding it together so as not to upset me – right? But seriously, I can certainly see how upsetting it could be if you are struggling with your own emotions without taking on someone else’s crushed feelings.

Generally, people love to compare your cancer to someone else they know who had cancer. Sometimes I would be told the strangest things like “at least they caught it early”, no they didn’t? Why assume that? Some people make all sorts of assumptions based on a previous experience they’ve had with someone else. This used to drive me mad and annoyingly it’s not just with diagnosis, it will be with every stage of your cancer care.

What Can You Do?

Whatever someone’s reaction, remember that most people are trying their best, they are not trying to annoy you, they are probably just at a loss for what to say and feel that they need to say something, anything. If someone does say something that offends or upsets you, remember you are in an emotionally raw place. It would be normal to take things to heart that would usually not be such a big deal to you. This is entirely natural so do not feel bad about it. If someone is comparing your cancer to someone else, you could say, there are so many variations (even within the same cancer) they really aren’t comparable. Where possible try to distance yourself from those comments and if someone is upsetting you, maybe mention that you are trying your best to handle it your way, and get them off the phone!

My Loved One Has Cancer – What Should I Be Saying?

I didn’t want to send all the non-cancer people into a spin on what they should be saying so this would be my advice…

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In my opinion, it’s best to follow the lead of the person who has cancer.  Be led by how they are feeling and their reactions.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, I’m sure they would rather tell you than have you assume.  Ask how they are feeling, how they are reacting to the news.  Feel free to agree that it is shite and you wish there was something you could say to make it better but you know there isn’t.  Ask if there is anything you can do to help and suggest things you could do – make dinner / take the kids to school / drop a text saying, I’m at the shops can I pick anything up for you.  Feel free to make suggestions about way’s of handling ideas but leave it as a suggestion not an instruction.  If they don’t seem keen, leave it, don’t push what your friend of a friend did down their throat.

I found an influx of offers of help and well-wishes at the beginning and then it tails off (understandably) so my biggest suggestion would be to just let them know that you are still there, thinking about and loving them and ready to respond should they need you.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to dealing with cancer.  Treating someone with love and kindness will go a long way.

Nx

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The Last 36 Hours! Good Morning Britain, ITV News and World Cancer Day

Cancer & Me, Press Appearances

The last 36 hours have been unexpected, bizarre and awesome.

I knew that to coincide with World Cancer Day the lovely Cancer Research UK were going release the latest shocking statistic that 1 in 2 of us will now be effected by cancer, which I have written about here.  I also knew CRUK were going to include my name (along with others) as a possible person to talk to the press, but I had no idea just how exciting it was going to turn out to be.

Before I had cancer, although I would have loved the thought of appearing on TV, I would have probably let nerves get the better of me or the thought of it being too much trouble with getting the kids sorted etc… But since cancer I just think – when is the next time I am going to be asked to do this?  Probably never, so why not just get involved and thoroughly enjoy it and that is exactly what I did.

On Tuesday evening a film crew came and film the kids and I for a news segment on Good Morning Britain.  They asked a lot more questions than what they showed and there were a number of retakes, mainly because when you ask a 3-year-old to be quiet what they actually hear is; make as much noise as possible and keep interrupting mummy.  But they wanted ‘real-life’ and that is most definitely real life! 🙂

 

Next it was confirmed that I would be on the Good Morning Britain sofa with the beautiful Susanna Reid (who looks like a doll in real-life – so beautiful and friendly), Kate Garraway (who I now know likes her hair to be brushed with a brush, not a comb) and Dr Hilary Jones (who in real life is possibly the nicest man ever).  I was so excited.  I have seen that sofa, how many times (?) so to actually be on the show was completely surreal.

A car collected me at 5am – yes 5am – and I was taken to the ITV studios on South Bank, London.  They did my hair and make-up.  I got to meet all the presenters, who all seemed genuinely lovely.  The studio itself was amazing, smaller than I imagined and no, that is not the real view of London behind the sofa or desk, just a screen.  It was over so quickly, I didn’t feel like I got half of what I wanted to say across but that’s just the way it was and I still can’t actually believe I got to go on that sofa.

You can watch the interview by clicking on the picture below….

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After appearing on the sofa they organised a car to bring me home and I went straight to meet a friend for coffee in the same place I go nearly every day for coffee and order the exact same thing.  When I walked in the barista said “I saw you on TV, I was shouting at my husband – ‘It’s medium-vanilla-latte lady on TV'”  Hilarious.

Lastly I was asked if ITV News could come and film me and the kids again for the evening news.  Because time was of the essence not only did the reporter and cameraman come, they had a gigantic news truck come too so that they could edit and transmit the recording to get it all sorted in time for the news.  Good know’s what the neighbours much have thought.

You can watch the new segment by clicking on the picture below….

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On top of all of that I had some wonderful friends write my name on their hands as the person they are Uniting for as part of the Cancer Research #WeWillUnite campaign, so a massive thank you to them and everyone for their support with the campaign xx

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The Anti-Bucket List 2015

Any Human Heart, The Anti-Bucket List

If you have been following me for a while you will probably be aware of my Anti-Bucket Lists but if you haven’t or need reminding you can read all about it here but basically, when I was having treatment for advanced Colorectal Cancer I decided that when I got better I would flip the traditional ‘things-to-do-before-I-die-Bucket-List’ idea and came up with ‘The Anti-Bucket List’… these are things I am going to do because I’m alive.

My list for 2014 was;

Holly at her first Ballet performance

Holly at her first Ballet performance

  • Go to a fancy Horse Race – My lovely hubby took me to Royal Ascot and it was everything I hoped, including seeing the Queen and Prince Harry.  You can read about it here.
  • See a Ballet at the Royal Opera House – It wasn’t at the Royal Opera House but I took my daughter to see her first ballet, you English National Ballet performing Swan Lake in Milton Keynes and it was amazing and a very special mummy-daughter moment.
  • Visit Harry Potter world at Letchworth Studios – I ended up going to Harry Potter world at Universal Studios instead!!  Oh yeah!! I was literally like a kid at Christmas.
  • Take part in Cancer Research’s Colour Run – They didn’t do one last year 😦
  • Go somewhere I haven’t been before – Benhavis in Spain – if you are in the area, it is beautiful and well worth a visit.

My Anti-Bucket List for 2015;

  • See the Book of Mormon – been meaning to see it for ages.
  • Visit Harry Potter at Letchworth Studios – going to Florida has made me want to visit even more.
  • Visit somewhere new – This was on my list last year but I think this will remain on my list forever.
  • Do the Tougher Mudder race for Cancer Research. Am hoping this will be achievable by the end of my #100ActiveDays?!
  • Visit a new Spa – sometimes you just need a bit of a break and I know that I do now so a Spa weekend will be just what the doctor ordered… and I think I could get away with considering it research?! 🙂
  • Organise a family get-together for no reason.  I love my extended family and so rarely get to see everyone altogether outside of weddings. Christenings, funerals etc…  So I am going to try to organise a ‘Just Because I Love You’ get-together.
  • Add a lock to the Love Lock Bridge in Paris – sounds cheesy but fun, making our mark on Paris forever.

As always I am looking for new inspired ideas so if you have any, please leave a comment below and let me know.  I had some great ones last year and as a result did even more cool stuff, would love that again.  I would also love to hear what is on your list so let me know.

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When Nicola Met Cancer Research UK – How Research Helped Save Me

Cancer & Me

Last week I was asked to speak at a couple of Cancer Research UK events about my experience, which I was thrilled to do.  The benefit of research is something I’ve experienced first hand, I am passionate about it and it’s why I am a massive fan of Cancer Research – and pretty much everyone I know who works there!

This is my story, that I shared during my CR-UK speeches (not word for word, my memory isn’t that good).  Can you believe I totally forgot to take photo’s!  Imagine me looking slightly nervous but trying to appear confident and lots of very lovely people watching and that’s basically what it looked like.

Finding Out

I found out in January 2012 that I had Bowel Cancer.  I was 31.  I wasn’t shocked.  I knew I was experiencing classic symptoms as I had a strong family history.  My mother died from bowel cancer in 2008, she was only 52, after having bowel cancer for the first time in 2003.  My Grandmother also died of bowel cancer in 2004 when only 69.

Despite this, getting diagnosed was hard (I’ve talked about this at length here).  Mainly due to an outdated thought held by GP’s that bowel cancer is an “old” persons disease.  I was also pregnant and some of the symptoms crossed over.  When I reached the point my symptoms were unbearable I fought for tests until my GP referred me.  My daughter was only 6 weeks old.

Diagnosis

After having a PET scan, I discovered just how extensive the cancer was.  It was stage 3C, meaning it was as far spread as it could be without reaching another major organ.  I was told I needed ‘radical’ treatment meaning I would be very ill and unable to care for my children on my own.  I was also informed that the treatment would bring on early menopause, infertility and I would need a permanent colostomy bag.  Armed with all this information I went into a year of physical hell.

Treatment

I assumed my treatment would be the same as my mum, I was completely wrong.  In 2003 my mum had surgery followed by 6 months of weekly chemotherapy given through a drip in hospital.  My mother heard about a new type of chemotherapy in a tablet form that you could take at home. Mum asked her oncologist if she could change but was told it was still in the trial stages and not yet available.

Getting to be at home with my baby girl

Getting visited in bed by my baby girl

10 years later those chemo tablets were now the standard treatment for bowel cancer and what I was given.  This was a landmark moment for me, getting to benefit from that trial 10 years earlier.  I received 1 dose of chemo intravenously in hospital, followed by chemotherapy tablets taken at home everyday for 2 weeks. This meant;

  • I could be with my children more
  • Easier with visitors
  • It’s just a fact that being on your own sofa is a thousand times nicer than being in a chemo ward!

Obviously there is more to developing a new type of chemotherapy than comfort.  It’s a more effective way to treat bowel cancer.

I was fascinated finding out that Cancer Research UK were involved in developing part of the chemotherapy tablet I was put on.

My treatment was also delivered differently.  I had my treatment at Addenbrookes hospital where they had been researching and trialling the order in which a patient receives cancer treatment.  Under the trials, patients were given chemotherapy targeting the whole body first, then radiotherapy and daily doses of chemotherapy targeting the tumour, surgery and lastly more chemotherapy.  My oncologists believed this would be a much more effective way of treating my cancer and I truly believe it was.  When they came to operate my cancerous tumour the size of a cricket ball had completely melted away.  Most importantly this means my chances of it coming back have dropped drastically – all good!

It wasn’t just the treatment that had improved, everything had.  From the understanding of bowel cancer to the genetic developments.  From the patients perspective to the general care for my well-being and side effects whilst on the horror that is chemo!

All round, I truly got to experience the different that research and development can make.

 The treatment was still hard, verging on impossible sometimes with me wanting to give up.

I know there is no ‘good’ time to have cancer but I did feel particularly unlucky to have it with a 3 month  and  2-year-old.  I felt like I missed most of Holly’s first year.  After getting to spend every moment with James when he was a baby, this was really difficult for me.  I missed the first time she rolled over and sat up, the nanny we were forced to hire enjoyed these.  I will always remember fondly that when Holly stood up and lifted her leg as if to take her first step, our nanny quickly pushed her over before she could and carried her around for the rest of the day so I wouldn’t miss it – bless!  Of course Holly didn’t try walking again for another couple of weeks but I was there to see it.  At the time husband used to say;

“Holly doesn’t care if you see her roll over for the first time or not, she cares that you are alive, to be with her and watch her grow up.”

Ain’t that the truth!

Cancer’s Legacy

Even though the cancer is gone, certain things remained.  Like the colostomy.  Early menopause and HRT.  Antidepressants I was put on to get me through the end of my treatment when I wanted to stop.  An emotional battle to comprehend everything I had been through.  But it’s not all bad news…

Cancer has left me with a strength I didn’t realist I had.  It’s the reason that I have fulfilled lifelong ambitions like finally going to university, becoming a writer and speaking in public.

When You Give to Charities Like Cancer Research UK

Without wanting to sound completely narcissistic, it feels like you are directly helping me and mine.  It feels like a very personal gift to me.  Whether it’s time, money, help, it directly impacts how me and my family are, and how our futures will be.

I know that I have a genetic cancer but at the moment the genetic link is unknown.  Once found, we will be able to see if my family are effected by it.  This will be breakthrough research for me.

Looking at the differences between mine and my mum’s treatment in just 10 years gives me confidence of where we will be in 10 years time, or 20 years when my children may be facing it.  If research continues the way it has been going, they will be walking into a very different landscape of treatment, understanding and chances of reoccurrence.

I believe research saved my life and for that I will always be truly thankful.

 

If you are feeling inspired to help – FANTASTIC NEWS!  Stand Up To Cancer is coming, click on the pic and GET INVOLVED!  Or you can donate directly to my Just Giving Page

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Sky News, Social Media, Selfies, Colostomy’s and People Who Don’t Want To Know

Colosto-ME, Press Appearances

I was so excited when I got a phone call asking if I would be interviewed for Sky News.  The chance to talk about Cancer and Colostomy’s on actual real-life national news, yes please! The premiss behind the segment was looking at how social media gives people a chance to express what they are going through and interact with campaigns like Cancer Research UK‘s #NoMakeUpSelfie and Colitis UK & Bowel Cancer Research‘s #GetYourBellyOut.  My part was recorded a few hours before through Skype (so clever) and inserted into the segment. I didn’t know which part of the interview they are going to include and a wide topic became quite a specific issue so I wanted to discus what they didn’t have time to show. Why Are Campaigns Such as ‘No Make-Up Selfie’ Amazeballs? 11870_10152357217119474_281799384_nI think one reason is the ability to engage with the charity.  You can send a photo and the charity can post their own pictures like this one that Cancer Research posted on Facebook in March.  I was fascinated to learn how the money raised was being spent. It’s an easy way to get involved and do something positive for charity.  I am never going to run a marathon but I can take a photo, have a giggle and text donate £5 with minimal physical training required. It’s also a bit of fun.  We are used to presenting our best-selves on social media, it’s fun seeing everyone strip that back and show it like it is. Why Use Social Media to Discuss Delicate Issues? When first having a colostomy I felt very isolated, ashamed and embarrassed.  It is through speaking about it, explaining, hopefully educating and experiencing the lovely support from people, that I have become more accepting.  Don’t get me wrong, I still get embarrassed but have decided rather than shrink away from the embarrassment to power through it and gain strength from it. 603591_10153939743255153_437681074_nI haven’t done a Colostomy-Selfie but for #GetYourBellyOut I posted this picture and donated.  Even showing some scarring took a lot of courage and was a real break-through moment for me. What About the Poor People Who Don’t Want to See Colostomy’s? Ahh, those poor people, unable to scroll down or look away, must make life very difficult for them. Ok, seriously. Sky News asked this and it’s something I have seen people saying online.  I understand not wanting to see it.  I wouldn’t have wanted to see it before I had one and this is exactly why we need to see them.  The more we see something the more normal it becomes.  If people were posting pictures saying ‘look at me wearing glasses’ you would think, so what?!  It’s only because traditionally ostomates have hidden their bags that it seems novel to see one. “Showing A Colostomy Doesn’t Change Anything?!” This is something I keep hearing and I couldn’t disagree more.  I did touch on this in the interview.  It has helped my confidence and acceptance hugely.  It has given friends and family an insight into what it is and as a result they have been even more wonderful and supportive.  And really it goes back to the point I just made about people having to get used to seeing ostomy’s. 10414574_930802690279121_2727569953559798389_n“Bethany Townsend only got this huge publicity because she’s pretty” I agree, but that is what makes it perfect.  When I looked at her picture I thought,”wow she’s beautiful” and that’s the point.  It is her beauty that you notice and the bag becomes inconsequential.  It’s there and part of her but it’s not what defines her – her beauty and amazing figure do that.  To be fair, I am sure there is a lot more to Bethany and she is defined by more than the way she looks. For me, Bethany’s bags not being what I was looking at was liberating in reminding me that I’m not defined by my bag either.

I find it hilarious that people can’t believe she’s pretty, like only ugly people get sick

Being pretty and having a colostomy aren’t mutually exclusive!

The BEST Thing About The Colostomy-Selfie That they have started these conversations.  When else would a colostomy be discussed on Sky News?  Or Facebook, Twitter, numerous blogs etc…  Whether people like it or not and want to discuss it or not, it’s out there now and I am hoping this is a massive leap in the move to helping ostomy’s become a more understood and talked about, normal way of life.photo copy 4 If you missed the segment on Sky News don’t panic you can watch it here….  It’s about 10 minutes in. Sky News – Digital Generation 13th July 2014 Shockingly no one recognised me walking down the street after it aired, guess I am a little way off TV superstar status my mother-in-law thinks I now have! 🙂   Please let me know what you think.  Would you do it?  Have you done it?  Do you like / hate it?  Click on comments and let me know. Follow this blog!   Just add your email address and press FOLLOW, click on the email and you will get an update every time I post – it also gives me a warm glow when people follow, I genuinely love it! 🙂 You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Is The Sun Setting on Hiding Your Colostomy?

Any Human Heart, Cancer & Me, Colosto-ME

As I said in my Nicola B and the Two Big C’s blog post, I have never hidden the fact I have a colostomy, traditionally I have never made a massive point of it either.  This has changed slightly in the last few months.  Talking about it more openly through the fabulous Cancer Research UK and starting to write for Coloplast UK and this blog have all, on a very personal level, made the experience of living with a colostomy easier for me.

The colostomy still remains hidden in many ways.  I still dress in a way that keeps the bag unnoticeable, I generally wouldn’t mention if I was having a problem with it and even when writing articles about going on holiday or swimming with a colostomy, the emphasis has been on how to hide your bag and I think that I can generally say this is the same for most colostomy wearers (we generally refer to ourselves as Ostomates).

But something strange has been happening on my Facebook and twitter pages.  Photo after photo of ostomates proudly showing off their bags!  I think the most well-known would currently be the absolutely gorgeous Bethany Townsend with her photo in her bikini on honeymoon in Mexico.

1970702_869609589731765_188481301_nCrohn’s and Colitis UK shared Crohn’s and Colitis UK’s photo.
July 2 · Edited

“I’ve had Crohn’s since I was 3 years old but was misdiagnosed until I was 11. Just 4 weeks later I was having 16 inches of my bowel taken out.

Since then I’ve been on steroids, infliximab, methotrexate and every other drug going as well as being tube fed for 4 years. After five more operations my bowel burst 4 years ago and I ended up with two colostomy bags. They thought that would help until 4 weeks later and it was back.

10414574_930802690279121_2727569953559798389_nI then went on to have a stem cell transplant which was in trial in the UK, we all hoped it would work but unfortunately I caught MRSA of the skin and the blood and it nearly killed me twice. Since then my Crohn’s has still been extremely active, I’ve lost more weight and now I’m waiting for the NHS to fund a drug that hasn’t really been in the UK. If this doesn’t work a bowel transplant is in talks as I can’t have anymore of my intestine out as I haven’t got much left.. BUT I’m still hopeful.

Finally after three and a half years, I decided that my colostomy bags shouldn’t control my life. So when I went to Mexico with my husband in December last year I finally showed I wasn’t ashamed. Still hoping for a cure…”

#myCCUKstory by the truly brave and inspirational Bethany Townsend.

Help us find a cure by making a charity donation at https://www.justgiving.com/crohnsandcolitisuk or Text CCUK14 £5 to 70070

She looks SO totally gorgeous.  All I kept thinking when looking at it was, I wish I had that girls figure!  But Bethany isn’t the only one, there is also the amaze balls Blake Beckford and the wonderful Thalia Skye, all showing them off.

What does this mean for me?

Well I’m not putting a belly-selfie up yet although if I’m honest that’s more weight vanity than anything else.  (What??  Colostomy or no colostomy I’m still a girl!)  Once I reach my goal weight, I may consider it, but seriously,

When I started writing for Coloplast, they told me that their hope was to make having a colostomy as normal as glasses or a hearing aid, just something some people need to live life to the fullest.  This seemed a tall order because truth be known, I didn’t see my own colostomy like that.  I saw it as a hinderance, a cruel reminder left on my body by a hideous disease.  One that I accepted I had to live with and I was happy to get on with, but I hated it nonetheless.  If I hate it, how will anyone else ever accept it?

What these Ostomates have truly done for me is given me a confidence that I didn’t imagine I would ever have about my colostomy.  

It is not something to be shy about or hidden, it is something to be embraced and thankful for.

I honestly never thought I would reach a time in my life when I would think that about my colostomy.

So for that I am truly thankful to all ostomates who are putting themselves out there and normalising having a colostomy (or iliostomy – more about that in a later post).

My wonderful friend who bought me Fish and Chips when I was having my ‘This Too Shall Pass’ day said, “surely its just like underwear”.  I had never thought of it like that but she is so right.  Non-ostomates cover their privates with pants and knickers, I cover mine with a bag…. I do also still wear knickers… just wanted to make that clear!

The shifts that are happening in my brian at the moment are nothing short of miraculous and I truly have all the amaze balls Ostomates who are sharing their stories to thank for it xxx

As well as my friends, family, Cancer Research (especially you Tom) and Coloplast, love you guys xxx

 

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