The more observant among you may have noticed that there have not been any updates on this blog for a while. There is a good reason for this, I’ve had other battles to fight.
Today marks the two month anniversary of my being rid of the evil tumour that was making a pretty decent job of silently killing me from within.
I don’t want to dwell too much on what I’ve been through (other than this explanatory post), but such a life changing experience has inevitably changed my outlook and this will no doubt be reflected in my posts from now on.
Below are my top 10 musings on my cancer journey to date:
- Listen to your body. If there are signs that something isn’t quite right inside, then get yourself checked out properly. Which brings me to my next point …
- Don’t trust GPs. I went to a GP with my symptoms and they sent me away with a totally incorrect diagnosis. We only found the cancer after my wife’s persistence in insisting that I be referred to a specialist consultant. GPs are General Practitioners, an odd-jobs man for the human body. You wouldn’t ask a builder to service your boiler, so why trust a GP to know everything about your body? Seek a second opinion if you’re not satisfied with your GP’s diagnosis.
- We are all unique. Just because you don’t fit the classic profile of a condition doesn’t mean you don’t have it. Lazy doctors use statistics to assist with their diagnoses. I didn’t fit the profile of a typical bowel cancer patient, so they dismissed it as a possibility.
- Time is of the essence. My tumour had advanced to a critical stage and was about to wreak havoc on the rest of my body. Having surgery as quickly as I did potentially saved my life, another few weeks and the prognosis would not have been so positive. If you’ve had symptoms for a while and put off getting yourself checked out, do it today!
- Positivity really does work. I have an incredibly supportive group of friends rooting for me and I was swelled with positive energy going into surgery. I strode into the operating theatre with a strength and determination that I still find hard to understand. But it worked, so why question it?
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. I’ve written about this previously, but this was never more clear to me than when I thought I had just a few short years left to live. Suddenly all the petty worries and annoyances in my life were totally wiped out.
- Less is more. Rid yourself of clutter and irritants in your life. I unsubscribed from dozens of web sites and email lists and even closed down a business. It was a cleansing experience and I don’t miss any of them. I now have less distractions in my life and more time to concentrate on what’s really important.
- You can’t buy your health. The late Steve Jobs was sad proof of this. Look after yourself, enjoy a little of what’s bad for you and a lot of what’s good for you.
- Wake up and smell the barbecue. Red meat and processed meat is killing us. Hardly a week goes by without another report on the dangers of red meat consumption. This isn’t fear-mongering from the veggie brigade, there is hard evidence that cannot be ignored. I confess that my diet was heavy with red and processed meat. Is this what triggered my cancer? I’ll never know for sure, but I won’t be eating red meat again.
- Carpe diem. It’s a cliche, but don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. One day you might wake up to discover you don’t have a future, that’s when you really kick yourself for having wasted your opportunities.
Where am I now? My recovery has been excellent, I am feeling well and getting my life back to some sort of normality. I’ll be looking over my shoulder for the next few years but that’s all good since I have the right people looking out for me and my insides.
So it’s business as usual, I’m just in a different business now :-)