Coming Face to Face with Eric

I have suffered from IBS for many years so there was no real noticeable change in my bowel habits.  For the last few years my GP has been telling me that the bright red blood when I go to the loo was due to piles.  It was only when I started passing blood clots and blood stained mucus that I went back to him on 31 January 2013.  He fast tracked me to the Colorectal clinic at the local hospital.

logobowel cancer

14 February 2013:  I had a rigid sigmoidoscopy which only goes up the first part of the bowel.  Not the most comfortable thing to have done on Valentine Day.   I was told I had a couple of grade III hemorrhoids but for belt and braces it was arranged for me to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy – this goes further around the sigmoid section of the large intestine.

27 February 2013:  with the help of gas and air to take the edge of the camera passing through the bowel some polyps were found.  I could see from the monitor in front of me that they didn’t look right and sensed from the tone of voice of the consultant, who had been called in, that he was not happy and he ordered 3 biopsies to be taken and a CT scan and full colonoscopy was arranged.

6 March 2013:  I had the CT scan.

10 March 2013:  Two days before the colonoscopy I had to have a bland diet, and ate poached chicken breast and mash potato for Mother’s Day lunch, loving prepared by my eldest daughter.

11 March 2013:, A fluids only day and at 7:00p.m. I drank the first litre of a revolting concoction called Moviprep.   7:00 am on the morning of the colonoscopy, I had to endure the second litre of Moviprep which made me sick so I lost some of it, however it didn’t prevent it working!

12 March 2013: Prior to the full colonoscopy I was told that I had bowel cancer in the sigmoid section and they also needed to do a gastroscopy (a camera into the stomach) as the CT scan had shown up something.  So I had an endoscopy from both ends! I don’t remember much as I was given a sedative which knocked me out for a short while.

14 March 2013:   I saw the consultant, with my youngest daughter, and he told us the CT scan had shown up enlarged lymph nodes in my pelvis, abdomen and lungs but strangely it has not affected my liver, which has confused them somewhat as this is not the normal progression.   I am due to have biopsies on the abdomen and lungs next week to determine what the next step will be.   I had sarcoidosis many years ago which affects the lymph glands and there is a possibility that this is the problem, but until they know they can’t decide whether to do chemo first or surgery.

The Macmillan nurse was lovely and gave me lots of information from Beating Bowel Cancer and told me she would be my support.

So, at the time of writing this I still do not know what stage my cancer is at, the treatment required or what the prognosis is.  I have read many case histories in which many people have lived for beyond 5 years even when diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer so I am holding on to that thought.   At the moment it is still difficult to understand why this is happening, I don’t feel ill, I am in no pain and there is nothing tangible to hang the cancer label on.  It is there though and my fight starts now.

Why “Coming Face to Face with Eric”?  I have named my cancer Eric and am going to fight him tooth and nail, it’s tough being positive but I am not going to let it get me down although I know there will be some very hard days ahead.  I am going to use my blog to write about my days and bring Bowel Cancer to the attention of others.  It is a silent cancer with symptoms that are all too easy to ignore.  DON’T IGNORE THEM!!

With the support from my lovely family and close friends I know I will make it.

21 thoughts on “Coming Face to Face with Eric

  1. Dear Ronnie, I am so sorry to hear this news but i know that you will fight Eric and kick his butt to the curve. my thoughts are with you…be strong and know there are many of us out here rooting fr you

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  2. Hi Ronnie, this is a scary read. I too have suffered with IBS for many years and have piles, I often wonder if I would tell if there were any noticeable changes that would send me back to the doctors. My thoughts and prayers are with you, stay positive xx

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  3. Hello Ronnie, I am so very sad to read your post. It’s not at all what I expected or hoped to read on your blog today. I think you’re very brave and I’m glad you’ve shared this. I am also so pleased you’re facing Eric and with all of us with you, we too will face Eric with you. Lots of love. Anna xx

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  4. dear ronnie, such a shock to discover eric is your unwanted guest … i have friend who has banished her bowel cancer and is looking better than she has for many years … so while you fight tooth and nail look to that brighter future … your beautiful garden will help you as you enter this fight … blessings, christine xx

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  5. Your Positive attitude your determination and having the love of good family and friends will help you through this xxx

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  6. Hi Ronnie,

    So sorry to hear about this… Not really sure what to say (never been good with words).
    I hope you are well, and am glad you have a positive approach – which will definitely help you.

    Thinking of you

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  7. Ronnie I am so sorry to hear your news, but I know that you will beat Eric hands down. Well done for your courage writing this post, so many of us will be here.

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    1. Dear Ronnie – so sorry to read this but also heartened by your courage – wishing you all the best xxx

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