I’m 99.9% certain that’s Cancer
Those were the words, which still ring loudly in my head, said to me on August 4th 2017 during a follow up for the Over 55 Bowel Screening programme which is a now run for everyone by Northumbria Healthcare NHS and South Tyneside NHS. Cancer was confirmed after the biopsy 2 weeks later and then followed by a few different scans because they weren’t happy with something on my liver which fortunately turned out to be ok. A six hour operation to remove over half my bowel then followed in October along with 8 days in hospital and many weeks recovery at home.
Results after the operation showed that it was Stage 3 Cancer and had spread in to some of the lymph nodes meaning it may have got into the blood stream and could cause Cancer in other places. As a result I’m now on 6 months of fortnightly Chemotherapy which finishes the first week in May.
Cancer affects millions of people of any age, not only the people that have it but also the people around them. In my family alone, whilst I was being born in one bedroom, my father lay dying in the next and was taken by Cancer 3 weeks after my birth. My mother had it, my sister has had it, My Aunt has had it twice, and my wife’s friend has just recovered from her second lot of Breast Cancer. Loads of people I know either friends or through work have had it and have either passed away or fortunately are still here thanks to our health service. I’m sure if you sit and think of how many people you know or know of there’ll be lots who have had Cancer. Only today when writing this, I’ve been told of 2 more people with a connection to me that they may have Cancer.
The online donations will go to Cancer Research UK whose support funds research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of Cancer.
The money raised at the club will go to Women v Cancer which raises funds for three invaluable female Cancer charities: Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Nicky Jenkins from Percy Park Rugby Football Club is riding the Women v Cancer London to Paris Challenge in September for Women v Cancer.
So, on 21st April 2018, after the last Percy Park home game of the season against Dinnington, as I feel a bit guilty still having my hair under Chemo whilst lots of the lovely ladies having Chemo seem to lose theirs, the very least I could do is a show of solidarity. Therefore, James Bond’s stunt double and local Hairdressing Legend Bruce ‘Teasy-Weasy’ Jeffrey will shave what hair I have off and in what I think is an even bigger commitment, Mick Ishida has also agreed to go ‘down to the wood’ with his hair.
We would love and greatly appreciate for you to donate kindly as this is for something that could affect you and will probably affect someone you know. When I got diagnosed with mine I had no symptoms whatsoever. Another few years down the line and it could have been a completely different story.
Even if you don’t donate, regardless of how embarrassing you think the screening programmes may be or how uncomfortable you may have heard they can be, please go and have them done and make sure you do the home ones that start at 60. You’re not the only ones doing them. The outcome of ignoring them may not end up being very good, not only for you but more importantly for the people that love you.
Ladybits and Blokeybits…..Get them checked.