Cancer on a serious note and who’s Rita

Now I’m not a fan of the Tory rag ‘The Daily Hate’ (Daily Mail) and my blog should not be political however my mom reads the daily hate and although their headlines normally drive me mad, my mom pointed out a good article that she read the other day regarding Government cuts to cancer drugs but before I share this with you all I want to talk about what I believe.

So since Friday I launched the ‘Just Giving’ donate page and I’m continually touched and surprised by your generosity. I sent a thank you text to Mary Poppins thanking her for her support and she replied “I just hope it will save another person/family going through what you and your family are going through” I read the text with a heavy heart as hard earned money from her was given like the rest of you in the hope that it helps others, but will it? I stared at her text for a while and replied that until we as a country start screening for bowel cancer early that all money raised will do will help the charity to raise awareness, to produce wonderful literature that’s informative, to provide online help with qualified nurses and so much more, but will it stop the next person getting bowel cancer, no it won’t.’ Why?’ You ask, as I have to myself. The answer is simple, that unless we start screening early it’s like ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’.

If bowel cancer is the second biggest killer of all the cancers in England why don’t we screen for it early?  We do for breast cancer and if you are a lady you receive a smear test from the age of 24 so why not screen for bowel cancer? If you just take my case as an example, how much money did it cost our beloved NHS to diagnose me? Ultrasound scans, CT scans and various other tests, then how much would my operation have cost and the 4 days spent in hospital? I know the chemo I am on for 6 months is £35,000 and that treatment may not be just over a 6 month period and may cost much more. More CT scans to come, Doctors time, Surgeons time and Oncologists time following more tests and results? I dread to think compared to a simple poo test taken to your local GP’s for testing or a colonoscopy from say the age of 40? If detected early enough bowel cancer has a high success rate but in younger people it’s more aggressive and sadly deadly. Whilst out with Leanne and her friends last week Kate said “why don’t we all get an annual CT scan to show any problems we may have”? A simple good point well made but the truth of it is that all tests that involve radioactive materials are cancer causing and therefore would be putting everyone at risk of developing cancer so that’s not a simple solution.

Back to Government funding and I will refer you to an article from the BBC so that you have the true facts and not just my view or the daily hates:

Twenty-five different cancer treatments will no longer be funded by the NHS in England, health chiefs have announced.

NHS England announced the cuts after it emerged the £280m Cancer Drugs Fund – for drugs not routinely available – was to go £100m over budget in 2014/15. Some drugs will be removed and others restricted – a move charities say could leave some without crucial treatments. But a Department of Health spokesman said it will allow “new and better drugs” to be offered to patients.

Cancer patients currently receiving the treatments will still be allowed to continue using them. The restrictions come into place from 12 March and affect a whole range of treatments for breast, pancreatic and bowel cancer.

The most commonly used treatment on the list is Avastin for advanced bowel cancer. The Rarer Cancers Foundation, which is sponsored by drug companies, estimates the step will result in more than 7,700 patients losing out.

So a bit dry for a Sunday granted but the bits that I took from it were, if last year we spent £280 million but overspent by £100 million (actual cost being £380 million) then giving funding this year, whilst it is an increase to £340 million this year is still meaning the department will still overspend unless it cuts costs and has no money to explore new treatments coming available. Mark Flannegan from the ‘Beating Bowel Cancer charity is working with Government to bring awareness to the debate and I’m proud that the money we are raising together will continue to pay for him to influence Government policy decisions and fight for us but surely the cost of early screbbcancer_single_50ening would save a massive amount of money? Or is this just me over simplifying it?

bbcancer_single_3I wanted you to know what the money you have donated so far will provide for this outstanding charity and the work that they do, so here is the breakdown for you and a massive thank you again for all your donations. In two days I am 84% to total with £849 raised. You lot truly are amazing.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 17.34.50bbcancer_single_10

One of the problems with bowel cancer is the lack of symptoms in the early stages or our reluctance to go and speak about poo. Mr Muscles when I met him last week asked about what early symptoms I had. About a year before the pain started in January 2015 I remember two occasions within weeks of each other both virtually the same and was this the early stages, probably, should I have gone to the doctors, probably but we don’t like to make a fuss do we and we don’t like to talk about bowels either, so I didn’t seek help, so the details are as follows, if it helps anyone else out there it will have been worth sharing:

I woke as normal, cleaned my teeth, fed the cat and Molly, made myself a coffee, got my half a biscuit and then had a fag in the precious few minutes I had each day before going into work to log onto Facebook to just catch up what was going on in your lives. All of a sudden I had shooting pains up my bum like someone had rammed a spear up there and was turning it around. In childbirth you have to focus on getting through the pain and breath through it, it was like that. I felt faint and remember crawling to the back door to get air and cool down. I was unable to talk and sent a quick text to Mary Poppins and Emma to say I was in pain and I’d be a little late into work. After a few hours and with the help of  pain killers the pain faded and disappeared and I then went into work as normal. Two instances of bowel pain within a few weeks of each other, the same out of the blue pain in terms of length of pain and the pain itself. Mary Poppins, Emma and I have often wondered if this was that the start as it was very unlike me to be late for work, well apart from the normal shit traffic jams, but if this was the start could I have avoided all of this pain and suffering now? Maybe but I only told them and Steve and as it didn’t happen again I just thought it was one of those things and cracked on with life.

IMG_3089Right and now for something a bit lighter 🙂 I’m always up first followed by my mom if she is down with us. This morning my mom said “who’s Rita” good point I thought as she is mentioned through the blog and MT Quin and has taken on the almost saint like role of praying for me and all my other prayer demands for loved ones but I haven’t ever really explained who she is, my mom thought that Rita was someone who had worked for me in the past. Rita when I first met her was like me a store manager in the Brighton store, a big store and we hit it off from day one, she has a great sense of fun with a motherly balance of not going too far and then she laughs at me and my BFF at our adventures. I was her Trendy Wendy and she was my Reet Petite the finest girl you ever wanna meet and I always sing this to her when we meet up. She worked in Head Office too for a few years in Mr Moore’s department and wanting to spend more time with her family and loved ones, she has returned to the life of a store manager in Chichester. We have shared a room at work conferences so you can say ‘I’ve slept with her’ and she teases me about my snoring lol. She has a heart of gold, she worries and truly cares, a proper real life gem, my angel and our Mother Theresa. So I hope this clears that one up for you all and has allowed me to end on a lighter note to an otherwise quite a serious post.


A photo of the candles lit for us all from Rita today, bless her.





I hope you have all enjoyed your Sunday and shared precious moments with your loved ones, ‘picking daises’. We went to Moo Moo land and lay under the shade of a tree whilst Molly played with her ball and swam in the river. We then enjoyed coffee and cake (without wasps and broken phones) then home for roast beef, lovely 🙂


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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

10 thoughts on “Cancer on a serious note and who’s Rita”

  1. Regarding bowel cancer checks, over the last few years I have twice received the test kit but Barry hasn’t and many friends haven’t,however read that most people throw them away as a bit fiddly and means collecting samples of poo and putting back in package and returning for tests.Perhaps through your blog you can tell them they are lucky to receive them and may save a life.I believe the poor take up is what stops this being rolled out to every person,didn’t get these til over 65 so don’t know if more prevalent in oldies.Thinking of you as always.x

    1. Dorothy you are so right as they is a poor take up rate and I don’t know the answer apart from to educate people. Help the charities to raise awareness. Maybe make the tests available to all how have concerns over any change in bowel habits but because we don’t like to discuss poo and bowels will we ever learn? I don’t know the answer to that. Thanks for your comments and your support as ever. Love to Barry and the family xx

  2. Trendy Wendy what are you like lol you’ve blown my cover, ha ha ha your bad <3 <3 <3 🙂
    God rest my beloved Mum & Dad they would be so proud of me !!!!!!
    Ive you to thank for that, Ive never been to mass so often since I left Ireland !!!!
    My mum & dad had all 8 of us their children at confession every Saturday and mass every Sunday as sure as God brings night & day.
    I got married and moved to England and whilst I've never stopped believing or loving God I went to mass less frequently 🙁
    Every time I went home to Ireland about 2 to 3 times a year to see my family my dad would frog March me back to mass of which I went willingly it was like getting engulfed in my childhood again 🙂 I loved it.
    There's a kind of beautiful tranquility that embraces me once I go through the chapel doors.
    So we have a lot to Thank each other for my Trendy Wendy x
    I now go every week because I want to lite your candles and pray for you and Karen & Frankie & baby & the stud muffin & all cancer sufferers <3
    I have reclaimed my special place & tranquility <3. <3. <3

    You sound as if you've had a tranquil day yourself honey. XXX

    Thank you for your information on early cancer symptoms this could help many, many people as we never get told of the signs to be aware of, xxx
    Oh Wendy lol I'm in the CHICHESTER Store lol not Colchester that would be too far to travel each day 🙂 xxx
    Well then yet another fantastic blog and your donation page has been fantastic and that's because of the love and respect we all have for you that has made it so successful my selfless Trendy Wendy .
    Love n Hugs Always xxxxxxx

    1. Yes your Mom and Dad would be proud of you and your family. Sorry about the store boob! I’ll correct it. Glad you have found peace again within the church. My mom goes when she is in the Midlands but it doesn’t always bring the peace she needs. The ‘Just Giving’ from everyone has been fantastic, I’m so blessed being supported by so many wonderful people. I hope that my blog is read and helps people to act on bowel changes as I could have avoided all this shit if I had gone to the doctors sooner instead of just cracking on with life cos I didn’t want to miss work, mad hey! No words can thank you for being so special and supportive. Love to Mark and family too xx

      1. So many people will be so very grateful for your blog honey, you have opened doors which many of us never thought about or understood.
        The probability of one of the hundreds of followers you now have being diagnosed with bowel cancer or someone in our families is very likely.
        However we will be more worldly wise to it and have some comprehension of what to expect .
        Your selflessness will help many FACT. xxx

        1. Thanks Rita as if I achieve that then I will have achieved something through my mad ramblings on a daily basis LOL xx

  3. I like many other I expect knew that bowel cancer affected many people, but through your blogg I believe we now know the knitty gritty (so to speak) so much more.
    When on holiday this year with a couple of friends Adrian (my husband) was talking to Norman ( our friend) and weirdly got onto the subject of the recent poo test that had come through the post. Now Adrian said he had done his, where as Norman said he hadn’t as he didn’t like doing it. Adrian told him he should do it and told Norman about you Wendy. So my story is you, Wendy made a difference because Norman has now done his poo test because of your blogg and sharing your story.

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