What happens when you receive a rectal cancer diagnosis followed by a metastatic liver cancer diagnosis less than 12 months later? You produce and launch a 10-part podcast to celebrate being cancer free for one year!
‘Love, Laughter and Loo Time’ details my personal cancer journey in 2020 and 2021, discussing the practicalities of managing rectal cancer, chemoradiotherapy, a stoma bag, chemotherapy, metastatic liver cancer and major surgeries.
It covers specific topics ranging from the reactions of family and friends to your diagnosis, managing the financial aspects of cancer and a stoma bag, to dealing with chemotherapy and resulting loss of hair and self- image. It is about swapping your black executive chair for the white porcelain loo seat, using laughter to get through the dark times and learning to accept and even ask for help. However it is also about realising that you are more resilient than you ever thought!
I am not a broadcaster or journalist, just someone with project management skills who applied those transferable skills to managing my two forms of cancer during a pandemic.
Being diagnosed and then treated for cancer during a pandemic had both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side I could easily withdraw from social engagements, because Covid meant that there weren’t many or any! On the negative side, it meant no hugs for nearly two years when I really needed them, limited physical support from friends and family in Queensland due to border closures and local lockdowns.
My heartfelt thanks to those who participated in this self-funded podcast – Clae and Kristen Molloy –, my stoma and wound care nurse, Marnie Simpson from St Vincent’s Private hospital, Angela Kiss, Colorectal Cancer Care Coordinator , Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Cindy Cunningham – program, Kelly Wright, Allison Taylor and Annette Janic, my friends who often drove me home from Chemo on a Wednesday and my sister and my rock. All of these people and many others gave me their time, expertise and unconditional support in producing this podcast and helping me get through two of the most challenging years of my life.
And to for conducting a podcast workshop which then became the vehicle for me producing ‘Love, Laughter & Loo Time’ with their ongoing support and expertise.
Whilst initially there may only be interest in one episode, hopefully if you are either going through cancer yourself, or you are supporting a loved one going through this life-changing experience, you, or they, will listen to a few other episodes. And most important is my parting message which I mention at the end of each episode – please do the National Bowel Cancer screening test as soon as it arrives. If you give a shit…it could save your life! It saved mine.
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