Hi everyone, today I am celebrating my one year anniversary following surgery for bowel cancer.
Here is a cautionary tale. I had just retired and was enjoying life to the full when the bowel cancer screening test arrived, no worries, after all I had done 5 before, all okay and was perfectly healthy, I always have my five a day, I have never smoked, I have always done exercise all my life. I love cooking so I never eat processed foods, only thing is I like food so much I was about a stone more than my BMI, Not really a candidate for bowel cancer, right?
Wrong!!!! Shock horror test revealed hidden bleeding and further tests, and removal of a polyp which was cancerous. So I needed surgery, an anterior resection of the bowel, which meant having 21cm of my bowel removed. The good news? I was very lucky to be diagnosed at a stage 1, no spread to the lymph nodes or other organs. So no chemotherapy required.
Why am I sharing this?
Firstly, if that test comes through your door do not ignore it. Txt saved my life.
Secondly, I was told that walking would be the best exercise for recovery following surgery. I was on my feet the next day and home in three days. I went out for a walk every day, building it up to an hour within a couple of weeks. I went Bactria swimming 4 weeks later. I truly believe my commitment to fitness was why I made a spectacular recovery.
Thirdly, there is a lot of evidence to say that fibre is of great importance to a healthy colon. I would always have said that I ate enough. Surely eating as much fruit and veg and whole meal bread as I did would be enough? Well turns out not quite, when I started counting it up I was generally eating around 20grams of fibre a day. bowelcanceruk say you should be eating 30 grams a day. So this is a habit I have changed and it hasn’t made that much difference to what I eat, I just make sure now that every meal contains fibre, adding more pulses to soups and stews and nuts to salad etc. I am now a raising awareness volunteer for bowelcanceruk
and give talks to community groups etc.
I have been so lucky and it has made me value my health so much more. I am so happy to be fit and well and I am going to lose that extra stone this year to get back to a healthy BMI
God luck and good health everyone