My type of cancer: Bowel cancer. I'm honestly not sure about the medical terms, I just had a blockage in my stomach that was blocking food from getting through, and causing mildly-painful stomach cramps, and that was the only symptom I ever had (that my original GP missed, for 11 months. Always remember to get a second opinion if you feel like you want one). I don't even recall what stage it was, I don't remember anybody telling me. But all my other scans were positive. My prognosis: Quite positive. Like I said, once they found the tumour, they scanned me for others and couldn't find anything anywhere. I healed up well from the surgery, and they hit me with the hard stuff, chemo-wise. My survival time: It's been 18 months since the surgery. So I guess I'm still making my way through the experience, but all my doctors have been very optimistic. It still worries me, some days, and every time I have a blood test or a CT scan, there's a part of me that gets nervous, and I don't think that will go away anytime soon. My word of advice: On my second cycle, I needed an additional minor surgery. I was feeling grumpy and irritable about it, and I had the good sense to apologise to one of the attending doctors for not being in a good head space, like, at all. And I still remember, he looked down at me (quite kindly, without any judgement) and said, "It's okay, we get it. Some days, things are just sh*t." Now, forgive the crudity, but I found that was the most profound advice I ever got. Some days, awful things happen for no reason, and you just have to roll with it. Some days, you might be scared or angry or sad. Some days, you might really struggle. Some days, things will be just awful. Those days, the best thing you can do is survive, and try again tomorrow. And, that's okay.
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Hey. I'm new. I got a diagnosis of bowel cancer last year, in November, but a week later, a talented surgeon cut it out of me. I'm currently five cycles into an eight-cycle-program of chemo. It really sucks. It's a bastard, and I feel like I'm falling apart, a little bit. I know this is silly because this is the recovery part, this the part where I'm making progress to beat this horrible thing. And you know, you hear the word 'chemotherapy' and you don't think, "This'll be fun!" or, "This'll be easy!" And I feel so guilty and self-indulgent, on top of everything else, because I just think, people have it so worse, you're actually making progress, some peopel don't even get that. But I can't remember what food or drink tastes like. Everything tastes foul. My body's not working properly, there are so many growths and warts downstairs and the smell just follows me around all day and I can't stop it (and the warts just bleed all over stuff). My head is a mess and I'm bouncing between sad and angry, and not much else. I'm so thirsty, but my throat hurts. I sobbed for an hour in front of the TV last night, I'm just not coping well. I'm sorry if someone reading this has it far worse than me, I don't mean to trivialise your pain, but I just can't cope. I don't know how strong I am, but I know I'm not strong enough to keep this up indefinitely. And this is really hard and I'm so sick of it.
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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.