From the top, about my bottom (see what I did there?)

Putting first things first, you should know that at the time of this writing (September 2011), it has been about 15 months since my treatment for colon cancer and right now all the signs point to me being cured. Yes, cancer can be cured.

So, why a blog then?

With any luck the worst part of my trip is over in terms of the physical part of the disease and treatment, but I've been finding it difficult to heal and recover mentally and emotionally. I'm out of sorts. I cry at Disney movies or listening to Pink Floyd. I vacillate between feeling sorry for myself and seriously getting on my own nerves about feeling sorry for myself. Some things that I used to enjoy have lost their appeal. And while I have every reason to be grateful and think of myself as one of the lucky ones, sometimes not so much. It's difficult to describe, but my soul hasn't settled and maybe it won't. I don't know what the new normal is just yet. This is a trip where I don't know the route or the destination, and maybe it's that feeling of lack of control that is at the root of my malaise.

On the positive side, and at least in my own mind, I am much more likely to roll with the punches of day to day life, and have become quite philosophical about many things in the larger sense. **cliche alert** I have a renewed joy for the simple pleasures of life. And in an interesting trick of the human mind, I spend a lot more time thinking and planning for the future, even though for a while it seemed like I might not have one.

It occurred to me that writing about it all might be cathartic. And what the hell, let's share it with the world, and maybe someone will commiserate, be informed, educated or even entertained. So if you're reading this and you're someone who may have asked me 'how are you feeling?' at some point in the past, well, here you're going to get the real answer. If you don't know me, maybe you're going through this yourself, or maybe you know someone else who is going through this, and I can help you understand how they are feeling. Let the wonderful doctors and nurses worry about the rest.

What I don't intend is for this blog to be any source of knowledge or expertise. It's just little old me and what I am going through.

And so well over a year later I'm going to regurgitate my whole experience mostly from memory and with the benefit of hindsight, which ought to result in a slightly less whiny and angry tone to the proceedings. But I guess we'll see about that. If I didn't have something to get off my chest I wouldn't be doing this in the first place.

A little housekeeping note - most blogs list the newest post first, but I want this to read more like chapters in a book and go oldest to newest. This requires fudging the post dates so just ignore them.

Happy reading.

16 comments:

  1. Hello,
    I have a question about your blog. Please email me!
    Thanks,
    David

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  2. It amazes me that the phrase "I'm lucky" is uttered by Cancer survivors. Despite the clinical process which seems to alternately give you hope and take it away, seemingly at random; despite the rocky recovery after a painful surgery, despite the emotionally-draining bouts where all your faith is challenged, for a process that lasts months if not years(!) it's a testament to your character that, after all that, you can still say "I'm lucky".

    Finding humour in the bleakest of circumstances, agonizing through the side-effects of medicines that "help you", enduring the de-personalized and clinically detached exams of what was once private and unshared, and again, after all that, still saying "I'm lucky".

    Only a cancer survivor could say that.

    Good luck with every and all things.

    Terry

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and thanks for reading Terry.

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  3. Hi Paul,

    I work for the Canadian Cancer Society and came across your story through the Mississauga news article. I'm wondering if you have time to have a quick conversation with me? I found your story inspirational and informative. Please feel free to email me at gscheliga@ontario.cancer.ca

    Thank you!
    Gabrielle

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  4. I like the idea behind this blog, I am a colon cancer survivor as well...

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  5. I'm just on the verge of starting chemotherapy for my colon cancer, just found your blog and will read it with great anticipation. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  6. Informative post.. Bowel cancer cases has been increasing in Australia significantly .. One of my cousins was recently diagnosed with stage 2 bowel cancer and he has been admitted to CSCS, Sydney where he is going through chemotherapy

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    1. Thanks for reading Anna. I also had a stage 2 but was spared chemotherapy and had only surgery. I wish you and your cousin all the best.

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  7. Informative post, thanks!! One of my friend is suffering from bowel cancer and in the early stage she has consulted to the colorectal surgeons Australia

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  8. Thanks for sharing your story. It's a great and motivational reading for most of the patients suffering from Colon Cancer. It makes them emotionally stronger to cope up with the disease during their Colon Cancer treatment. I hope that the patients will get benefit from your post.

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  9. Thanks for reading and for your comments.

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. It makes patients emotionally stronger to cope up with the disease during their Colon Cancer treatment and some are very strong that you cant imagine that they had the disease God bless the sick.

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  12. thanks for sharing this insightful information.

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