19. 1 in 19

1 in 19 women and 1 in 14 men will get bowel cancer in their lifetime. I am one of them. 

Over half of bowel cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

This is a pretty depressing statistics, when you are 1 of the 19, and when early stage detection is curable and later stage, often, is not. As a result of this BOWEL CANCER UK have launched a #getpersonal campaign to help address this issue. 

“Through the Get Personal campaign we are determined to make real change happen for people diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer” 

Bowel Cancer UK

It makes me think of my journey. How easy and simple it has been for me, because I had personalised care. I have my sister Vicky, my personal guardian angel, more accurately, my personal warrior. 

Vicky has been by my side, all the way, navigating the system, that I had no understanding of. Getting me the right people at the right time and quickly. Having cancer is shit. Your cancer being bowel cancer, when your sister is the manager of The Polyposis Registry at St Mark’s, is bloody lucky!

  1. Who else knows you should ignore your GP, and tells you to go to a specialist so your cancer is identified at stage 3, not stage 4 (advanced) 
  2. Vicky knew who she wanted to be my radiographer and my surgeon. Who else gets such amazing reassurance about who is looking after them? 
  3. Who else has a Vicky in their hospital meetings to question and check things you don’t understand, or are too numb and in shock to think to ask?
  4. Who else has a person, who understands the treatment path chosen for you, and can reassure you it is the right one? 
  5. Who else has a sister who nurses you back to health in the hospital, and when you are back at home. Making sure you feel safe when you are feeling your most vulnerable? 

I tell you who else does this. Specialist Nurses. This is why we need more of them, this is why the #getpersonal campaign by BOWEL CANCER UK is so important! There are simply not enough of them.

I know this because I see how much Vicky  cares for all her patients in The Polyposis Registry, I see how heartbroken she gets, when one of her patients becomes unwell. 

NHS staff want to give personal care, and work very long hours to do the best they can in a system that is complicated and under immense financial pressure. Vicky often works on her days off and also raises money for her department in her ‘spare time’, along with her team, to get more money for better patient care… while having 3 children and me to look after too! No wonder she gets stressed!

How lucky I am to have my own guardian angel and personal warrior. Thank you Vicky 😘 

As a result, I think  #getpersonal is an amazing campaign, that I will support however I can. Thanks BOWEL CANCER UK for driving another great initiative forward x

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