I am 67 retired at 65 and diagnosed 18 mths ago with stage 4 bowel cancer metatisised to the liver (inoperable). My initial 6 months were horrific in and out of hospital and ED. Two attempts to insert Porta Cath which in a few months had to be removed and reinserted due to clotting. All this and 6 weeks of radiation. I was ready to throw in the towel. Now my life has settled into a pattern around fortnightly chemo followed by 2 days 5FU at home. My tumors are considerably reduced but still not operable. I have side effects after each treatment days of extreme fatigue, skin rash, bowel issues but I am well enough on three days of each week to pick grandkids up from school and can socialise every second weekend. I am just having trouble dealing with fronting up for this every 2 weeks for the rest of my life or until the situation worsens. It is like waiting for the other shoe to drop and keeping positive is hard. I know I am lucky compared to some but the reality is harsh. It is not how I envisaged spending my retirement. I am single but have a supportive family. They all work and I should be helping more with their childcare issues. I do what I can when I have good days. I really need to have something outside of medical and family to get out and about but it is hard to find activities that are flexible around my bad days. I need more exercise as my physical strength is waning but not keen enough to do this on my own. Just wanting reassurance or strategies for living like this for the foreseeable future.
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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.