Archive for June 23rd, 2010

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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