Ten Years

It has been ten years.

Ten years since my dad died. Ten years. How did that happen? I can remember so much but also so little. My daughter grows up having never met him.

Taken away too young by cancer. Bowel cancer which had spread to his liver. Too late to save him.

Only 64. He had all the signs, and yet nobody thought it could be that. He had tests and more tests until they revealed the truth. “a matter of months” was what they said. Four months later it was over. Friday 13th October 2006.

We were there. Sitting in the hospital, in our own room. York hospital didn’t have a cancer ward at that time. My Dad was on a ward where people go after having hip replacements. It was a happy positive place which was quite nice to go in and out of. It wasn’t a place someone went to die.

We stayed awake with dad. He was barely conscious, having uttered his last words to us on the Monday, breathing his last breaths.

I hate cancer. I hate that it has affected my family, and will continue to do so. My mum (who is still alive) has had it twice. H has been  brought up knowing what she needs to look out for. By the time she’s an adult there will be a cure, I hope.

Ten years though. What has changed in the last ten years? I’m not sure. Are you seen quicker by a doctor these days? When dad got his diagnosis his treatment started. He had chemotherapy, to try and shrink the tumour.

Back then he was considered too young for the regular bowel cancer screening, as you had to be 65. These days the age is lower. I’ve had various tests offered to me at 46 underfunded wonderful NHS.

Things are changing, People are still dying.

Ten years though. How? Please read the Beating Bowel Cancer links above, pass them on to a parent. If it helps save a life then that’s a good thing.

Dad at Marston Moor

Lift the Lid on Bowel Cancer

Will you take up the challenge and join Beating Bowel Cancer to Lift the Lid on bowel cancer? Bowels, bottoms and poo are still a taboo and they need our help during April as they Lift the Lid on all things bowel cancer.

Lift The Lid on Bowel Cancer

My dad died over seven years ago due to Bowel Cancer. It was something nobody expected him to have, yet he ticked all the boxes as far as symptoms go. We had four months from diagnosis until he died in October 2006. Things which make sense in retrospect made no sense at the time. He had secondary tumours in his liver which left him at Stage 4. Beating Bowel Cancer campaign every year to help raise awareness of Bowel Cancer, and symptoms we may not want to talk about. As a parent I can happily talk about H’s poo, but myself? Difficult. Please read on.

One in four of us have been affected by bowel cancer in some way, either personally or through family or friends. Yet how often do you think we talk about it? The truth is, not often enough.

Whilst this may not be easy, we want you to open up and get a conversation going during April.

We need you to start your own conversation and Lift the Lid – whether it’s with family members, friends, workmates or neighbours. All we need you to do is share the message that bowel cancer, bums and poo are nothing to be embarrassed about, and that learning the symptoms and acting on them can save lives.

Beating Bowel Cancer have designated Wednesday 16 April as Lift the Lid Day when they’ll be making lots of noise and encouraging everyone to get involved.

There’s lots we can help with; from putting up posters in your community, watching our video, spreading the word through social media and getting involved in activities around the UK.

All of these conversations could be lifesaving, so please help us to Lift the Lid. So what are you waiting for? Visit www.beatingbowelcancer.org/liftthelid

How you can Lift the Lid:

– Download the Lift the Lid and symptoms posters to put at work or in your community

– On Wednesday 16 April get involved and show your support on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #LiftTheLidDay

– Text LIFT14 £3 to 70070 to donate £3 or visit donation page for more options

– Have a collection or awareness event in your community
More info

– Watch the awareness video and share it so more people can learn about the symptoms

Every conversation you have and every time you Lift the Lid, you’re moving us all closer to beating bowel cancer.