Thought I would share a good news story - Weight Loss NHS

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Thought I would share a good news story

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

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What a super post, thank you so much for sharing 😊.

I had a scare two years ago and having done the tests meant they could rule it out and find the true nature of the illness.

I’m delighted that you are now recovered and feeling fit and well, I feel sure you will soon lose the pesky extra stone 😊

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Thanks I feel motivated to do so!

It is very true that you don’t value your health half enough until it is threatened

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Absolutely 😊. And like yourself, my recovery was aided by my fitness and walking regularly

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Happy anniversary, fbg :)

Thank you for telling us you good news story and what a great recommendation for the bowel screening service. I wouldn't miss mine :)

I wonder if you've heard about the British Gut Project? I bet you have, but I'll mention it here anyway. Its initial findings are about the number of different plants we need to eat to keep our guts as healthy as possible - ideally 30 in a week - so not just overall quantity but a good range. And more is being learned all the time about how a healthy gut affects the rest of our health, including mental wellbeing.

On with the veg, seeds, nuts and fruit!!

healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

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Yes I had thanksI have definitely become more conscious of gut health. Interestlngly enough I also read that they now believe your appendix also may have an influence on gut bacteria. I had mine removed 50 years ago when they said it had no function in the body.

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This is a fascinating area of research, and after a scare myself my family are sick of me going on about gut diversity!! Lol 😊

I hadn’t heard that about the appendix, how interesting

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Yes I do not know if it is scientifically proven but it has certainly been an area of research for some academics in the field

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I haven't heard that about the appendix, but it doesn't surprise me

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I don’t think they are quite so “Gung Ho” about whipping them out now! 😂

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Oh im so pleased for your outcome, hope you continue to go from strength to strength

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Thanks I am so grateful for our wonderful NHS

I had wonderful care throughout, and they are still looking after me I had a clear colonoscopy and a clear CT scan a month ago. I will have a scan every year for another 4 years and another colonoscopy in 3 years but they don’t really expect any recurrence

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Oh thats so good ! They are brilliant arent they ? I had a brain tumour removed 13 year ago and they were excellent

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Crikey that really is scary. But how amazing it is that so much can be done. I do hope all is well now

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Yes it is thank you, we have just started an easter challenge to lose half a stone by easter, would you like to join us?

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Thanks for sharing, I’m glad you’re feeling great now 🙂

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I do, thank you so much

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Hi fattybygaslight

Your post is very inspiring, and I am so glad that you are now recovered.

Fibre is so important, and achieving the 30g recommended amount, along with a good variety of foods - fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts - a great way to obtain it.

Wishing you the best in achieving your remaining weight loss goals, and hope you have a great week ahead.

Zest :-)

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Thanks Zest I have just finished my evening meal of sweet potato chilli 🌶 containing: kidney beans, sweet potato, onions, peppers chillies, tomatoes, lime and coriander together with some whole grain rice and a whole meal pitta bread, I try only to eat red meat once a week now, but I still eat a lot of fish. Thanks for replying and I hope you are well

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Thanks, and I love the sound of your meal - full of great ingredients and I bet it was incredibly tasty. Yes thanks, I'm well and enjoying the week so far. Here's to another really good one ahead - all being well. :-)

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Inspirational post I am pleased you have made a full recovery and wish you every success in your weight loss. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience.

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Thanks so much for your good wishes

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glad to hear you are well :) thanks for posting such useful advice, I am sure I should have received one of those tests by now. How much fibre should we be eating - I bet I'm not eating enough.....

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There is loads of advice at bowelcanceruk, sorry I don’t know how to post a link to that.

They recommend 30grams.

In Scotland, where I live, screening starts at 50 years old and recently NHS in England have aimed to bring the age down from 60 to 50. However I am not sure that all health boards are in a position to roll that out yet. Again if you go to the bowelcanceruk website there is more information about it. Best wishes

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30 grams - I must have a go at counting up how much fibre I am actually eating - I bet it's not 30 grams every day. I ate two oranges today at lunch time and I just checked - that is about 6 grams. If you had asked me to guess I would have guessed more so I have probably been underestimating my fibre consumption!

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Hello Sunny

Yes I always thought I was eating enough I never had any problems in the digestion department and I was totally shocked by a Bowel cancer diagnosis.

At typical day to get 30g of fibre might look like this:

Porridge with blueberries 7 grams

Carrot and Coriander soup 4 grams

2 slice Burgen bread 4.8grams

Lettuce and tomato 3 grams

Apple and orange 6 grams

Puy lentils 7 grams

Sometimes, I do not make the target but I usually do. Lentils as you see are a great source, so sometimes I might have lentil or split pea soup at lunch time. Puy lentils are a great accompaniment to fish, salads and grilled meat, but equally I might have brown rice or potatoes in their skins. If I haven't made soup for lunch I might have whole meal toast with avocado, also a great source, or a baked potato with beans or sweet corn. I usually try to include two servings of veg with my evening meal and if I make a stew or casserole I usually add borlotti beans, or kidney beans in chilli, I always use wholewheat pasta now, which I didn't like at first, but now I do. I don't count it up on a daily basis, I just know now to include some with each meal.

Sometimes I am a bit sceptical about all the dietary advice out there, it sometimes feels like whatever you do it is not right. We can only do our best. Having said that, having had a lucky escape I feel obliged to follow the best advice available and it hasn't. meant a drastic change, just a little bit of vigilance.

My Grandma lived to 103, she ate absolutely everything and I bet she never counted grams of fibre in her life. She always enjoyed great health. "Everything in moderation" she used to say.

It's the moderaration bit I have trouble with. 😂😂😂

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thank you for this lovely clear advice :) it is certainly something I will think about. Actually I do love lentils and porridge, as it happens they feature in my diet a lot so that is a good start :) maybe I will write it down for the next couple of weeks and see how much I am actually eating - I will let you know!

Imagine your grandma living to 103 bless her!

Ah, if only moderation were easy :)

So glad you are well now :)

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Congratulations on your first year clear- 4 more to go. I always think I eat a lot of fibre being a vegetarian but now you have got me thinking so I will be looking at my fibre intake to check that it is as high as I think it is! I read somewhere that if you toast bread from frozen that increases the fibre intake even with white bread- something in the freezing process alters the fibre in the bread- though still promotes granary or seeded bread.

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Beans and lentils seem to be the best sources. I now try to include a large portion of these every day

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I just saw this interesting piece bbc.co.uk/news/health-46944631

There's so much you can tell people when you're doing your talks :)

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My goodness I hadn’t heard of super poo 💩 before. My daughter in law is vegan and has been for 25 years. I will forward the link to her.

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goodness! I hadn't heard of that. Reading the articles in that link was fascinating.

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Our guts will do well by us if we do well by them :)

But, as fbg says, she had a pretty good diet and things caught her out so the message is to take advantage of the screening process, for early detection

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you are right, I definitely plan to chase up the screening tests which me and my hubby should have done before now :)

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Thank-you for sharing what a positive post. I too am a great advocate of doing the test after having polyps removed in August last year during a colonoscopy and feel as if I dodged a bullet. Like you I thought I ate plenty of fibre etc. These posts have inspired me to have a look at 30 plants a week.

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Despite having started the post, I haven't yet got above 24 plants, but others have and it's something to aim for.

Time I started counting again :)

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I had a rough count in my head last night and I had got to 27 without even trying. I am really good with veg and fruit because I love them and now I am more conscious about fibre I don’t find that difficult either

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At least now you are on the radar. My consultant told me it could have been 10 years before I had developed actual symptoms and of course by that time it could have spread. Most bowel cancers do develop from polyps so removing them is preventative.Dodging a bullet seems like just the right metaphor. 😀

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glad your doing so well and caught in time, funnily enough i m starting my test tomorrow. hope you stay fit and healthy

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Yes that little test surely saved me a lot of hassle and probably my life. Good luck with yours. Have a great weekend

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cheers its a cancer that people dont want to talk about

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Wow thanks for sharing . I love swimming and aqua aerobics so glad that you have a great outcome

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Thank you for sharing your story, fattybygaslight 😊 it's scary to think that you were doing everything right, but still developed cancer, but how lucky we are to have our wonderful NHS & screening - I don't understand anyone who doesn't make full use of tests offered to detect early stages, whether it is bowel, cervical or breast. I am approaching the age where I will be offered this & will definitely take advantage of it.

I'm so pleased your outcome was so positive. I will definitely be having a look at my fibre intake - I think I do quite well, but I'm sure there's room for improvement 😊

More power to you, fbg, onwards and downwards 😊 💪

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Thanks for your really kind words, if reading my story encourages anyone to take the test then I will be delighted. I have heard some people say the would rather not know!!!!!! What??? They would rather not be diagnosed, like I was, with a 98% chance of surviving, or wait until they are in pain at stage 4 with only an 8% chance of survival. It is a no— brainer is it not.

The charity Bowelcanceruk, for whom I volunteer as an awareness raiser, has a lot of information on bowel health. It is worth taking a look at. Hope you have a great week

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It really is a no-brainer. A very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with bowel cancer, but sadly it was too far gone & had spread to her liver and lung. She put up an immense fight & always a brave face, as she didn't want people to feel sorry for her, but the suffering she must have gone through I can't imagine. The end came far too soon for the rest of us, but was a relief to end her suffering. If there was even a slight chance for one person to have an early diagnosis & not go through that suffering, it has to be worth it.

Thank you, I will have a look at the website, more information has to be a good thing. And well done you for using your experience to help others, you rock 😊🌟

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Thanks, actually I lost a very dear friend to bowel cancer myself 3 years ago. She was diagnosed after it had spread to her liver and lungs and despite 2 year of surgery on both her bowel, she needed a stoma, and her liver, plus a few rounds of chemo it still was not enough. She was a great friend and I really miss her. Bowel Cancer is the 4th most common cancer in the UK but it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

When you look at those statistics it is no wonder that almost everyone knows somebody who has been affected by it. I am sorry for the loss of your friend, let’s hope someday all cancer will be eliminated.

I hope you have a lovely weekend xx

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I am sorry for the loss of your friend too. I know what you mean, I still sometimes think 'I must tell her that' then the realisation. It's been just over 3 years for me too & I really miss her. Thank you for the chat and thanks for your good wishes, you have a lovely weekend 😊

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Just seen your amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing & I am so pleased for you that your cancer was found promptly and that you have moved on in such a vibrant,positive way. Great advice about fibre, I will be adding up my intake & encouraging my daughter's to do the same. Thanks again for sharing x

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Thanks Diane

I am grateful every day for my good fortune. It is so scary to hear the word cancer, but now, a year on, I scarcely give it a thought, but I do try to follow the best health advice I can.

Thanks for responding, I have had so many good wishes from people I don’t even know. It just goes to show what kindred spirits we all are. I wish you well on your journey here and hope you tune in often. Have a great week

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Congratulations on your One Year anniversary that news is better than any weight loss. Well done and thank you for that reminder, your comments will make lots just double check as I have just done and I will up my Fibre a bit more. THANK YOU

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Yes it was a surprise to me that I was consuming less fibre than recommended, but apparently so do most people in the UK. I really don’t know if that had anything to do with the cancer or not, in my case, but I am trying to meet the recommendations anyway. Actually I think it probably has a good spin off for weight loss too because it fills you up to have things like lentils. I have just had a big bowl of split pea soup with a slice of seeded bread for lunch and I am very full. So should be able to hold out till dinner time. 😂😂

Thank you so much for your kind wishes, good luck in your own journey, have a great week x

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Thanks so much for sharing. Very interesting read 😊

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Thanks for your good wishes Aisha, I am just so happy to have escaped a more serious diagnosis and I am resolved to do my best to raise awareness of this disease, which is the 3rd biggest killer in the UK

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