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Archive for June, 2010

Angels are out there and waiting to help…Here is a very special case and a very special angel, Bren, has asked for all bloggers to unite and help this child.

http://onmyfrontporch.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/help-robert-please-2/

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Killed using SUNBED.

A 31-year-old mother-of-eight died after sunbeds caused a cancerous mole the size of a prune to develop on her leg.

Teresa Zawadski had never sunbathed outdoors, instead opting to use the sunbed she kept at her Derbyshire home.

But when a mole on her leg started to grow she was too scared to get it looked at by doctors.

She ignored it until her mother Helen forced her to seek medical help, but by then it was too late to save her young life.

Skin cancer was confirmed and secondary tumours had spread to her lungs and spine.

She began receiving treatment immediately, but the cancer resisted both radiotherapy and chemotherapy and Ms Zawadski died just six months after her diagnosis.

Now her grieving mother has called for an outright ban on the sunbeds she believes were responsible for her daughter’s death.

Mrs Zawadski, 51, is now looking after seven of her daughter’s children, aged between three and 15, at her two-bedroom home in Derby.

She said: ‘Teresa was such a strong person. She only ever broke down in front of me once.

‘It was so hard to take in. We just couldn’t believe it was happening.

‘Teresa never sunbathed outside because she didn’t like it. But she did have a sunbed in the house. I think it was going on that sunbed that caused her cancer.

‘I think they should be banned. There’s been talk for years about them causing cancer.’

‘Teresa showed me the mole one day and I couldn’t believe how big it was. It was the size of a prune and raised from off her skin.

‘I think she was too scared to go and get it checked out.’
The mole was removed immediately but scans confirmed the cancer had spread.

In January she started to suffer from severe pain but refused to go into hospital as she did not want to leave her children Leon, three, four-year-old twins Lewis and Lucas, Kieran, six, Nathan eight, Shaun, 12, and Kaylee, 15.

Mrs Zawadski recalled returning from a holiday in March last year to discover her daughter’s condition had worsened.

She said: ‘She looked so ill, she couldn’t even get up off the sofa. Over the weekend she had really deteriorated. We told her she had to go into hospital and they took her in.

‘That was the last time I saw her awake. She slept all the following day and she died on the Tuesday.’

For several months after her death the children stayed with their father, but he found it increasingly difficult to cope.

Mrs Zawadski has quit both her jobs to raise her grandchildren alone, after her partner of 20 years left her.

‘It was hard because I had to sort everything out, starting from scratch. Claiming benefits was a nightmare to begin with. I had no money for three months and I even had to pay dinner money because I didn’t have tax credits,’ she said.

Derby hospitals’ Dr Tanya Bleiker called for a new law which would mean all sunbed users must first sign a consent form to show they have been given information warning of the dangers.

She said: ‘Sunbed use increases the risk of skin cancer and I strongly advise people to avoid using them.’

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Testicle Cancer

I am going today to only talk about men and cancer.

Looking around there is very little information for men, which seems unfair.

We all have a man in our lives, whether he be a husband, brother or son and they all need to know what to look for.

Today on this blog is ‘Cancer day for men’

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Just because you do not have breasts , do not think you are safe…many men die from breast cancer.

If you had them, you WOULD care more would’nt you?

Be aware and have any lumps , nipple discharge or even a rash checked out by your doctor.

The best time to check is when taking a shower.

Be safe.

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I have spent the week in a tearful state as close friends have had to bear witness. But now it is time to dry my eyes and remember the woman who gave me life.

My mum’s name was Kathleen, but everyone called her Kay. I also have a first name but everyone calls me by my second name, except my husband who likes to be difficult.

Today has been like a running tap of emotions and memories, so many in fact it is hard for me to decide what to tell and what should be kept private.

I think, and I want to keep this light, I will tell of my mother and the most unfortunate moments of her desire to use the bathroom.

Many years ago on a warm July evening, it would have been a Saturday, we had decided to go for a drink at the Boat Club on the Thames. Mum and I both loved to walk and walked home that evening around 11.30 pm. Suddenly she said she needed to go to the loo. Now for you guys this is not a problem you just unzip and there you are. But as we girls know things are not quite so simple, we have to squat. Now here was the problem ,there was no where for mum to squat , plus she was wearing a trouser suit. I looked up and down the road but there was not a hedge or anywhere for her to go behind, there was nothing else for it ,we stopped at the nearest lamp post and checking the road to make sure no cars were passing, mum dropped her trousers and squat.

Would you believe it , no sooner had she done this than a car approached, stopped and the driver started to ask for directions, he had lost his way.

My mother mortified at being caught in such an undignified position quickly jumped up pulling at her trousers while I gave the driver instructions.

I had a fit of the giggles but at this time all mum could say was ‘How embarrassing, I will never live this down’

Another time we were on the beach here in Spain. Mum, terrified of the water, would not go into the sea, she had once accused me of trying to drown her while trying to teach her to swim, we are talking seven inches of water here. I agree she did take in a little water and spluttered but she was nowhere near drowning. Mum reminded me of the window cleaner who fell from his ladder and by pure chance , his head fell in his water bucket and he drown,what this had to do with me teaching her to swim still remains a mystery.

Back to the beach and mum ‘s need to find a rock to squat behind, here we were in luck, there were many rocks. Mum , not one for bikinis, was wearing a one piece swim suit, she dropped this and went into the squatting position…..no sooner said than done a boat appeared from behind the rocks, full of young guys…they saw mum in what they thought was ‘mooning ‘ and started to shout over. I again found the moment amusing and had a fit of the giggles as my mother tried to compose herself….she stormed off saying ‘Thats it. I am never coming here again’ she meant to Spain. I think she thought her humiliation would hit the news stands by morning.

Another time we were having lunch after having spent the morning shopping, she wanted to ask me a word she had heard Stephan use several times.

The restaurant was full and my mother in a loud voice and in perfect Spanish asked me what did ‘Coño’ mean . Stephan, uses this word a lot, usually when driving and aimed at fellow motorists. Mum had heard it and liked the sound . I looked around as the entire restaurant gazed at our table, I said to mum ‘hush’, of course mum did not know what she had said. I explained to her that this was a special and private place of a woman’s body  and not a good idea to say it in a public place. Mum’s face was as red as her napkin ‘ OH lets go’ she said ‘I can never come here again’.

These moments of embarrassement came to be moments of much laughter in later years.

One more memory that I cherish. One day, I must have been about seven years old, I said to mum, everyone asks me how my shoes are so shiny ‘Elbow Grease’ said my mum. I, filled with this information told my school friends the following day. Mum reminded me years later, with tears of laughter when she found me in the kitchen rubbing my shoes with my elbow. ‘What on earth are you doing?’ she asked…’Cleaning my shoes with my ‘Elbow Grease’ I replied. For those who do not know ‘Elbow Grease’ is a northern expression and it means , hard work.

I, being a small child had taken my mum’s words for just that and had told my friends my mum cleaned my shoes with her elbow…

Stephan also misses her although they had some huge rows, they loved each other . Our wedding photographs and pictures on our honeymoon, not only the happy couple but mum in law smiling and standing in the middle…yes you’ve guessed it Stephan took my mum along on our honeymoon….

Great times mum, Stephan once thanked you for bringing me into the world so he was able to meet me. I would like to thank you also and hope one day we will meet again.

Thank you for all the joy you brought me and the good times.

I miss you mum.

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The debate rages on, I am pro euthanasia.

The bringing about of a gentle death in the case of incurable and painful disease is the kindest last wish we can do for those we love.

My mother suffered three long years and we had to stand by and watch . There is something wrong with the law when we would go to prison for cruelty to let a dog linger in pain but a human being for the moment must continue until the end…even if that means they can no longer swallow and choke to death.

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A former GP dubbed Doctor Death will not be prosecuted for assisting a terminally ill man to commit suicide.

Dr Irwin had been arrested and questioned by police

Dr Michael Irwin paid £1500 towards the cost of 58-year-old Raymond Cutkelvin’s death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

The 79-year-old had been arrested and questioned by police after he vowed to highlight the “hypocritical British system” surrounding euthanasia.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said there is sufficient evidence to proscute him but it would not be in the public interest.

Mr Cutkelvin’s partner of 28 years, Alan Cutkelvin Rees has also been told he will not face prosecution.

Mr Cutkelvin had been diagnosed with an inoperable tumour of the pancreas in 2006 and died the following year at the clinic in Switzerland.

Mr Starmer said no criminal complaint had been made at the time of Mr Cutkelvin’s death but a police inquiry began after coverage in the media.

He added that the dead man had been “strong-minded” and made an “informed decision” to commit suicide “without any pressure” from his partner or anyone else.

He said: “Mr Rees acted throughout as a supportive and loving partner and was wholly motivated by compassion.”

Speaking about Dr Irwin, he said the circumstances had been more complex, but that he too should not be prosecuted.

He said Dr Irwin cooperated with police and but already has a caution for assisting suicide.

New guidelines on assisted suicide in February outlined that motive should be at the centre of any decision over assisted suicide.

They stated that anyone acting with compassion to help end the life of someone who has decided they cannot go on living is unlikely to face criminal charges.

Assisted suicide does remain a criminal offence in England and Wales, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

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It is a New Day

Today is a new day

Today is a new life

Today, yes today is a special day

It never has occurred before

The sun light cast on today is ancient

The words I will speak will be for the first time, today

The air I breathe is new today

The aches are new as well

The feelings are new today

My cats meow is new today

Todays lunch I have is new

The thoughts I think are new today

The life I live today is new

Indeed today is a new day

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Farrah Fawcett was first diagnosed with anal cancer back in 2006, she was advised to have a colostomy if she wanted to save her life. Farrah a very beautiful woman refused and went in search of other treatments.

Farrah made a documentary of her brave fight and her search for what would be a pipe dream and cost her her life at the tender age of 62 years.

Yes vanity played a huge role and had Farrah agreed to a colostomy she may well be alive today but she wasted precious time, time she did not have.

This video is graphic but it is real life, people live with a colostomy, not pleasant but the option is death.

I had this bag for six weeks while in hospital and learnt very quickly to change the bag myself…I hated calling a nurse , sometimes a male nurse, to change it for me.

I readily admit I was truly humiliated, it has cost me a lot to admit to this today.

However, unlike Farrah my vanity played no part when my life was on the line. I knew when I woke after surgery I would have a bag. I had no choice.

I am not even going to say what was going through my mind at this point, I just knew I wanted to live.

When I woke, I placed my hand on the middle of my stomach which was well padded and thought I felt the bag. Stephan was telling me Dr.Sanchez Bueno had worked a miracle and I did not have a bag but I was heavily sedated and did not understand.

I today, have wallowed long enough in self pity…this video shows if not for the hands of one surgeon how I may well be living today.

I am truly thankful and have put my wallowing stick in the trash.

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‘Just say it’

Luxury is not the right word but the best I can come up with to describe having cancer the same time as your closest friends. The luxury is you can talk and say what is on your mind and how you are feeling.

At home it is like walking on egg shells, you have to be brave and strong ,show how well you are coping and ‘Battling’. Those closest to you must never know the desperation inside, if they for one moment think you have ‘thrown in the towel’ they, your strongest supporter, will collapse…it is you that keeps them strong by being so’ brave’.

Well I have news, I am not brave, I am not strong, I am sick of it, sick of the heart in mouth when I go for the check ups and to see if my ‘markers’ are stable.

The night before my second operation ,much needed because the chemo had burnt a hole in my colon and for six weeks I had been fitted with a colostomy bag all be it temporary ,I had to have one… The operation was to fit one on a permanent basis for three months to let my colon heal. After three months, another operation to remove the bag and make good my colon.

I had a wonderful surgeon who operated on me for fourteen and a half hours and found a way by removing intestine he could repair my colon and I would NOT need a bag.

Stephan waited outside for me and did not move except to buckle to his knees after observing a sterile coffin being taken into the operating area…he thought it was for me…. a doctor found him on the floor, he was unable to move or speak. My heart breaks for my husband and what I have put him through.

Going back….

The eve of this night I took a long good look at myself in the mirror, white, bald, naked , a skeleton ,with a plastic bag stuck to my stomach where faeces oozed .

My body that I had spent years toning and was so proud of was now a ‘thing’ of shame.

I guess I was saying good-bye to myself , I did not think I would survive surgery and nor did my doctor I had been told I was weak from chemo but surgery was the only option to save my life.

The last time I saw Emilio he was having a blood transfusion, we were having a heart to heart and I told him of that night and how I said to myself in the mirror ‘ You are going to die’….Strange as it sounds it animated him and he said ‘ Thats what I do’…relief in his eyes, this is a normal feeling ,not something to be locked inside and yet we keep these thoughts from those closest to us because we do not want to hurt them.

I did the very same thing yesterday with his daughter also battling to survive and making a smashing job of it. I ranted about my inner feelings and how I was sick of it all,she listened and once again she seemed animated as she told me she felt EXACTLY the same way. The ice was broken and relief for us both as we spoke of the days not only could we not go on, we did NOT want to go on . We want our lives back as they were before, but this can never be, cancer changes it forever and thats what is so hard to accept.

So may I ,on behalf of us, to all those who take such tender care of ‘us’ and you do a wonderful job…. many times I wonder if it had been the other way around how I would have coped ( on these days I am glad it was I that had Cancer and not Stephan)… ask that they allow ‘us’ to let of steam and when we fall don’t worry we will not break but it is hard to be strong every day.

There I have said it….those who have survived and continue to do so will understand exactly what I am saying, the carers may be horrified and see me as ungrateful… I am a lucky one and I know it but we will always walk in the shadow of cancer and our hearts will forever race as we wait for the results of our latest ‘Markers’.

I heard later, Dr.Bartholome on hearing the good news, not only did I survive the operation but I did not have a colostomy bag , was running up and down Oncology saying, Dani doens’t have a bag.

Dr.B. came to visit me every single day before he started work. I love that man.

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