Cycle 6, Five minutes of fame, fundraising & setbacks!

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Hi all, so another cycle in the bag I have to say it’s flown by with relatively little difficulty other than the usual side effects.  My poor old veins are struggling so much so that the nurses ended up putting the cannula in my thumb, yes there was swearing 😂 and it was by far the most painful round of the IV’s I’ve had to date.  Fortunately if I have any more rounds my consultant has agreed to site the cannula higher up in my arm which is something they don’t normally do due to the risk of tissue damage but he was clear it would be fine 😳. I have been frustrated this week at yet another set back in treatment, round 7 delayed by a week because once again my platelets are too low 🙄.  The goalposts keep changing, at the end of cycle 5 my consultant said if my bloods results aren’t good next time he would end the treatment but even though the result wasn’t good he wants to see me in a week to try again.  I know I’m lucky to have an end goal but it keeps moving slightly out of reach and I was fed up and frustrated and I really want the treatment side of things to end for Christmas so I can start 2019 with a new focus and hopefully it still will.  Once the initial frustration subsided I had a word and reminded myself that my treatment is to mop up any floating cells. I’m not on treatment indefinitely (not yet anyway) as my cancer isn’t advanced and for so many it’s ongoing to buy them time, yes it’s buying me time and I have other concerns with genetics and what implications that could have for other cancers and of course my family.  My journey has meant I’m now in touch with many other amazing Bowel cancer patients many of which have advanced cancer but they deal with it with such grace and dignity they are true hero’s in my eyes.

5 Minutes of fame! Some of you may have seen my TV interview on BBC East Midlands news talking about the waiting times for diagnostic tests and my experience. Obviously the ‘fame’ bit is a joke as I did the interview to raise awareness of this hugely important issue.  As you may know from my previous blogs so many people are waiting too long for crucial diagnostic tests, this is especially true in younger patients as there is still a tendency to delay referral as many GP’s don’t think Bowel cancer would explain symptoms in a young person.  I spoke about my experience, initially I was offered an endoscopy/colonoscopy 5 months after my referral I should have been seen in 2 weeks! I am very fortunate that my GP was fantastic throughout and insisted my tests were brought forward.  He has literally saved my life as had I waited 5 months my cancer would probably have been more advanced and potentially spread to other organs. Unfortunately this is what is happening to so many people so my mission is to help put an end to this crisis.  Waiting times are particularly bad in the midlands and Leicestershire hospitals have stated that they will try to address this.  Bowel Cancer UK have done fantastic work at pushing for the Government to create a fully funded action plan to address staff shortages and address the capacity crisis with access to tests.  I will do what I can to support the charity’s work and continue to raise awareness about symptoms and access to treatment for the rest of my days! Oh and have I mentioned please donate blood 😂

A bit of fundraising! In October a group of my amazing girlfriends collectively named ‘team Kate’ walked through the streets of Leicester (see pic) with all manner of glow sticks, flashing lights and leg warmers to raise money for Cancer Research UK, they do amazing work funding vital research so we can better understand and treat cancer. We raised over £500 and we had a great night walking, chatting and celebrating with a cheeky glass of fizz! Thank you girls and to all the amazing people who sponsored us your money will make a huge difference.

Lots of positive things in the last few weeks and some set backs but that’s the twists and turns of the rollercoaster of cancer! I will get my genetic results this week, not going to lie I’m really scared but all very necessary for future monitoring for me and my family.  I’ll update you all on that one soon.

Lots of love xxx

 

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