As mentioned in the post below, today marks 13 years since my aunt passed away. She was yet to reach her thirtieth birthday when she died. She died after being diagnosed with bowel cancer (colon cancer to be precise). My uncle/Godfather also passed away in his very early thirties after battling the same type of cancer.
I get it; talking about your bowels and your poop can be embarrassing. It can also save your life. My aunt was diagnosed too late and she died pretty soon after diagnosis. We live with a constant what if: “if she had been diagnosed sooner, would she still be here today?”
My dad lost a brother and a sister to bowel cancer. As an adult fully aware of what has happened to our family, I can now fully appreciate why my dad forced me to each Bran Flakes for breakfast as a child (I do eat it now as well for anyone wondering!). Taking care of your bowels and being aware of what is “normal” for you is hugely important, especially for a family like mine. I hope my dad won't mind me saying this publicly, but he had regular colonoscopies to check himself and to make sure he is OK When I am a little older, I will be doing the same. They may be unpleasant but they are a hell of a lot better then a battle with cancer. With a family history like ours, you really can't be too careful.
Bowel cancer can hit you at any age; my aunt and uncle are testament to that. I cannot stress enough the importance of being aware and going to the doctor if you feel something is not right. Your doctor will have seen and heard it all before and much worse besides. They will treat you with care and in the strictest confidence so I urge you to go to the doctor if you feel something isn't right. It could very well save your life.
I know some people struggle to understand why I spend so much time and energy writing this blog and all the other cancer related work I do. Days like today should make people understand why this is all so important to me. I have six mimossimou’s a year (Death anniversaries in Greek). That pain and grief is difficult to portray in words but it is very real. If I can save ONE life with this work and this blog then it is all worth it.
Please do read about bowel cancer and some of the charities around to help people prevent the disease as well as support people with the disease. Please do read about the symptoms and read about how you could potentially prevent yourself from developing this horrific type of cancer.
Life is the most precious commodity we possess and we should respect it and look after ourselves to try and preserve our lives as best we can. Check your bowels, get to know what is normal and please do seek medical advice should you feel something is not right.
Beating Bowel Cancer - http://pennysophia.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/charity-showcase-beating-bowel-cancer.html
Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK – http://pennysophia.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/bowel-cancer-uk.html