The term 'young' in cancer circles usually refers to people with cancer under the age of 50-60. For me, I prefer the term 'really young', but that would confuse me with the kid or young adult cohort (normally up to the age of 25). The labels and grouping are important because people my age face unique issues when we meet cancer.
One of those issues is becoming a child again
I'm currently wearing nappies. I've had a rectal tube removed, but there is a steady trickle of fluid that still wants to leave my bot bot. It looks like chocolate milk but smells like a dead wombat. And it's runny. So runny that I can't really choose when it is going to exit. Hence the nappies.
Having my parents around to help with cancer has been a blessing. I quite happily slipped straight into the role I must have once occupied of high-dependent demanding brat. 'I want...' and 'I need this NOW' have flowed quite naturally from my cancer-affected mouth.
So you're 29 and went shopping for nappies with your Mum, I get it.
Mums are really good at this kind of stuff. Mum knew exactly where to get nappies and what sort would be best. And to prove I have almost completely regressed I let her pay for them.
I've come full circle. My parents have been there this year when I've lost control of my bowels, soiled my clothes, soiled my bed and soiled my dressing gown (I've soiled nearly everything you can legally soil).
They have handed me urine collection jugs, poo collection jugs, wet ones to wipe my bot bot and wet cloths to cool my vomiting body. They've given me cash. They have tried to feed me. They've bought me lollies. They have given me massages, cut my toe nails (bending at that angle was impossible for a while), served me food in bed and gone to the shop at stupid hours for a particular ice cream I've wanted.
Thanks to all the parents out there of 'young' people with cancer. We couldn't do it with out you.
My blog online: http://benbbrave.blogspot.com/2011/08/full-circle.html
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.