Cancer stage 4 – Coming out and sorry I lied

Since Monday 6th July I have been lying to you all and I’m so sorry. My posts have had to be full of anything but what’s been really happening in my life, let me explain. This post is going to be a long one so get yourself a drink……..

On Monday the plan was to go to the vets and then go into Wycombe to work. Vets done I’m back at home for 9 am. I think about the charity I had found (Beating Bowel Cancer) on Saturday and decided to call them. I had a lovely chat with the receptionist about the fund raising event I had been too. I talked about my blog and that I wanted to help people. She listened and at the end she asked how I was and did I have any questions about my cancer. I replied as ever that I was fine and yes actually I did have a question. I didn’t understand the lymph node thing, that cancer cells that were in my neck and gut. That Steve and I had both looked this up on line without any success of finding anything other than medical articles from surgeons or oncologists. These were always full of big medical words and were so long we both gave up reading them. Steve and I concluded that as I was on chemo so it didn’t matter and just coping and getting through the treatment was the game we were playing for now. You can find loads of information out about cancer spreading or metastases to other organs but not in the lymph nodes. The receptionist said to hold on and then put me through to Holly.

I repeated my question again, she listened to my story and told me to look at 3 leaflets available online on the website. I was happy that I’d called and thanked her for her time. I opened the first of the leaflets. It was talking about coping with advanced cancer and palliative care. I was really confused now. I texted Steve and asked him to call me when he was on a fag break. He called me and I told him about he call, “no no no Wendy you have got it wrong, you must have explained it wrong or misheard what she said, send me the link to what you are reading.” Steve had to go back to work so I forwarded the link to him. Now I’m really confused so I decided to send an email to the nursing team at the charity so that if it is in writing I can’t get it wrong. Also I didn’t want to trouble them too much, so I sent this email:

I spoke to Holly earlier and discussed my case and my concerns, in that my bowel cancer is now in my lymph nodes. Both in my neck and gut. I have read the information leaflets she advised but I am still a little confused and I hope you can help.
The lymph nodes in my neck following a biopsy have been confirmed as bowel cancer. Does this mean that my cancer has metastases?
Is there just cancerous cells in the lymph nodes or is it an actual tumour growing as the nodes are getting bigger?
Does this mean (depending on those answers) that I am now at stage 4?

There is a lot of information on metastases cancers in organs but not about the lymph nodes, it’s all so confusing.
I know that you don’t have access to my medical file and therefore I understand any advice given is general but please can you help me?

Sorry to trouble you again and confused,

Wendy Guy

I pressed send and an automated reply came through that they would respond within 4 days. Then my phone rang, it’s Steve “I’m on my way home” why I asked “because you are right: it’s now stage 4 and I’m not leaving you on your own, I’m on my way”. Whilst Steve was on his way home I received this email from Holly.

Hello Wendy.

It was good to speak to you earlier, I hope you have had time to look at the links I advised and take some time to digest all the information found within them. There is a lot to take on board.

Cancer that has spread to other areas of the body is often known as Stage 3 or 4. Nearby lymph nodes to the bowel would be described as Stage 3 definitely but I think as the lymph nodes in your neck are some distance away you will need to discuss this in further detail with your consultant to be accurately staged. Staging in done using a combinations of things, such as scans and blood results to help build up a picture disease progression.

Here is a little more information on this type of spread. It talks about secondaries in the lymph nodes and metastases.

At this point I would suggest (with the information you have given us) that this swelling indicates cancer cells are present in the lymph nodes, causing the inflammation and swelling, but questions about cancer growing in the lymph nodes are best placed with your consultant, as only he/she would have access to this information, from related scans.

I hope the link above answers some of your other questions.

Best wishes,

Many kind regards
Holly Rolfe

I had been texting Karen whilst this was going on as she was due to see Dr Weaver today. I told her that I had just discovered I’m stage 4 and her reply was ‘Oh fuck, do you want me to call?’ I called her as my head was all over the place. We had a brief chat, thanks for being there my chemo bud. I texted Mary at High  Wycombe who thought I was going into the store today to say I wouldn’t be in and I waited for Steve to come home.

Steve had read the leaflet and also followed the link. He said that stage 4 had two stages, stage 4a and 4b. there are no more stages to cancer. What the bloody hell did all this mean? Has the chance of remission been taken away from me? My head was all over the place and more importantly ‘oh my god my poor mom, she is on holiday and when she returns I have to break her heart again.’ Richard has just flown to Canada, how am I going to tell him?

The post on that Monday was all true apart from the above was all left out. On Tuesday again I did go into Staines, all true but when I mentioned the text from Alison, I cried because I knew she was telling Emma and Linda. I did go to lunch with Leanne but again I had to tell her the truth. We sat and cried over lunch and Leanne gave me a big hug. I also had to call my best mate and tell her as I was unable to the previous night due to Ian coming round. Nicky already knew as she had spoken to her cancer nurse mate Mandy but didn’t know how or when to tell me. My walk with Rebecca and Molly on Monday was when I had to tell Rebecca, my poor daughter.

I messaged Dawn, Lauren’s mom on the Tuesday morning but Lauren saw it and thought I was going to talk about girlie stuff we had shared and she was upset with me. Poor Dawn had to sit Lauren and Chris down that night and tell them, thanks Dawn for doing this for me, for them. My mom calls from her holiday every morning and evening. I had to pretend everything was fine knowing that it wasn’t, sorry mom.

So we decided the best course of action was to call Dr Weaver. I just needed the answers to my questions. I called him at 9.10 on Tuesday morning, I was told he would call me back but he didn’t.

This morning at 9 o’clock on the dot I phone Dr Weaver. His secretary says that he did try to phone me yesterday but the land line just rang out but she would put me straight through. I had already prepared a list of questions this time so armed with my list and a pen, I went through the following list:

1 – Am I now at stage 4?  – Two scales are used to grade cancer and yes if you use the simple scale of 1-4, I’m now at stage 4

2 – Are the swollen lymph nodes in my neck just full of cancer cells or is it actually a tumour? – Yes and also there are tumours on my front and back of my abdominal wall plus broken through the perennial wall ( I don’t know what this is)

3 – Like my bowel cancer broke through the bowel wall, will the lymph nodes get so big that they will burst? – No

4 – Has this effected my prognosis? – Yes it’s reduced due to the spreading. I wasn’t ready to ask the question of how long I had got left.

5 – Is the pain in my tummy due to cancer, bowel surgery or chemo? Probably chemo.

I thanked Dr Weaver for his time and ended the call. Steve and I chatted over a coffee and a fag for about 1/2 hour. I cleared away the breakfast things, swept and mopped the floor. Steve said that I should go into work as there was no point in me sitting here all day with it going around my mind. I called Louise to help me out with how to contact Richard. I got changed and after another fag together I went to work. I think that Steve just wanted me out of the way, maybe he needed to be alone. I have been asking him for weeks to consider writing something for my blog and out of the blue he said “maybe it’s time I wrote a post for you about how this shit feels.” Wow, okay so no promises but he may just appear on here as he has all my log in details, well he set it up for me after all, my Mr Wonderful.

At work, thankfully Mary was there as it would have been awful without her, thanks Mary. I type a text to those who knew what was going on, Leanne, chemo bud Karen, Nicky, Dawn, Emma and Alison. I copied and pasted the message and hit send as I had promised them that I’d tell them as soon as I knew anything. I am so sorry to you all as I never thought about where you would be when you got my text, I just knew that I had to tell you all. I couldn’t break that promise, your hearts yes, but not my promise to you. At work and Guy (my boss) calls me, he was in Kingston when I sent the text into Emma. I talked him through what I found out 4 hours earlier, he was lovely and said that he just wanted to give me a hug. That started the tears, sorry Guy again, I always seem to cry on you.

Earlier I had sent Richard a message to contact me urgently, whilst on the phone to Leanne, Richard’s call came in. Yet again I had to tell my son bad news over the phone, this time however he wasn’t a few hours drive away he was a 10 hour flight away in Canada. He listened and told me to contact Parker to get the welfare number to call them. Thanks for your help today Parker. The Army are flying Richard back from Canada tomorrow.

As all this is going on my thoughts continually go back to my poor mom, returning from her holiday with no idea of the phone call I’m going to have to have with her. My poor mom, I think she has been through enough, I worry about that call tonight.

So that was my day in the wonderful world of cancer, how was yours? Lol. I told Leanne that at least I still had my health, she laughed as normal and said that I needed to change my usual saying to at least I’ve still got my sense of humour, now I laughed.

So if you are reading this then I’ve told my mom. Just like my first ever post on Facebook where I announced that I had cancer, it’s not about me, it never has been. If you know my children, my mom or my husband please help them through this journey with me. We are only alone if no one asks how we are, offers a friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on. They are my world and I love them with all my heart. I can’t cope with their pain and suffering so I need you all to help me, to help them to feel loved.




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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.

22 thoughts on “Cancer stage 4 – Coming out and sorry I lied”

  1. Having had a little longer than others to digest this latest blow, I say blow but it feels like I’ve had all the stuffing knocked out of me. I cannot imagine how you, Steve, Richard, Rebecca, your mum and family must feel.
    I only had Emma & Linda to tell, and my god that was hard enough, you have had to tell your loved ones and friends, how do we respond to this. The only way I can respond is to say I am always at the end of the phone, I can be with you in an hour and if ever I can be of support to your loved ones I’m here.
    Ain’t life a bitch Wendy. Just a smiggin of good news is due your way surely.

  2. Wendy
    This blog has knocked the wind right out of my sails, where have you found the strength to not only post this but to also write it.
    If there is anything I can do please please let me know.
    I will continue with my prayers & candles to give you all the strength that can be mustered to get through this horrific period of knowledge and understanding ❤️.
    I’m so pleased to hear Richard will be with you tomorrow
    You all need space now from the outside world to be together to love each other and just talk everything through
    My love to Steve, Richard, Rebecca, your mum Judy & to you ❤️
    God Bless ❤️❤️❤️

    1. thanks Rita and I had a lovely message from your daughter too, bless her, a chip off the old block hey 🙂 xx

  3. Nothing I can say will really help but I am here for you and your family. You need to get some more answers such as treatment and prognosis,when you are ready. You are a survivor so don’t give up yet Hun.

    BIG HUGS and love xxxx

  4. Hello Wendy, my name is Shauneen and your friend Rita is my mum! She has been keeping me posted with your progress and I’ve been reading your posts! Just read your most recent one and I just wanted to tell you that I am so sorry for all that you and your family are going through right now, no one should have to go through this and your amazing strength through this is so admirable!!! I know you do not know me but just wanted you to know that you will be in my thoughts always and in my prayers!! xxx

    1. Oh wow you must be super special if my angel is your mom, she is so lovely and messages me everyday to give me encouragement, she even burns the church down every week. Thank you for your comments and it’s lovely of you to post on my blog, it will be there forever for others to read. Thanks for your prayers and if you take anything from my mad ramblings take happiness as life is too short. Love always (only cos of your royal connections to Rita) Wend xx

      1. She is an angel isn’t she! She’ll always be there for you, whatever you need! She’s that kind of a woman so don’t be afraid to ask! Same goes for me! If there is anything you need that you think I could help with just let me know!! xxx

  5. Wendy, you must be in overdrive trying to cope with this,I can’t see what I’m typing due to tears in my eyes for you and your family, there’s a lump in my throat the size of a cricket ball, how’s your mom, shocked, I really am, so so sorry about this news and as I’m writing this I’m getting more angry, why do people have to go through all this shit, I’m thinking of you, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx sorry I can’t do any more the stuffings been knocked out of me, xxxxxxxx

    1. Mom’s okay well she isn’t but she like the rest of us have no choice but she your comment and be comforted that you care.I’m going to keep on doing my blog whatever happens so that you can all be part of this journey and that the next time you get stressed you can put it into perspective, smile and just say bollocks actually cos it’s okay. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog, it will be there forever for others to see xx

  6. Hey Wendy
    I have just read your post and I am in shock and even though I am reading it I can’t quite believe what I am reading, just keep thinking F***!!!
    All I can say is I am thinking ofny

    1. Hi there and as I said to Steve (Mr Grey) it could be worse we could still be working in Uxbridge LOL It’s okay, well it’s shit really but hey I have no choice but to keep on going with whatever treatment they can throw at me. Would love to see you soon hey xx

  7. Hey Wendy
    I have just read your post and I am in shock and even though I am reading it I can’t quite believe what I am reading, just keep thinking F***!!!
    All I can say is I am thinking of you and your family as this is another kick in the teeth to have to come to terms with, you have been and are amazing throughout this horrible journey. xx also sorry about the previous post hit the wrong button x

  8. Wendy so sorry and shocked. Just to let you know we are thinking of you all, especially your dear Mum because we know her and all that she has been through. For you to know all these people are thinking of you and praying for you, must help you keep your strength up. Miracles do happen you just have to believe they do, that’s what we’re wishing for you.
    Love to you all

  9. Wendy, my heart goes out to you and your family. Your continued strength to put each moment of this experience into words is amazing and so courageous. Keep going, as I will continue to keep praying for that miracle. Lots of love to you all.

    1. Hi Brenda, I hope you are well and as you have had your own struggles. Thanks for your prayers and love, it’s appreciated xx

  10. Wendy, I’m utterly devastated for you and your sweet family, to be honest, words fail me right now.
    Sending you love and I’ll continue to pray

  11. Deeply upset by what I am reading, so much bad luck, I thought the world of your Dad, your sister went way before her time and now this…..I actually cannot think of a swear word to cover this and I invented most of em 🙁 I hope and pray for some good news not just for your sake, but for Steve, the kids and most of all your mom who should not know so much grief. Certainly I won’t be moaning about my lot anymore. Tony XXX

    1. Thanks mate and we just say ‘it’s shit’ kind of sums it all up really. Mom has just come down again today after her holiday so I’ll tell her about your comments. Thanks for the message as it will remain on here, always. Please share my blog so we can reach people and help them through this shit. Cheers Tony, much love to you and yours xxx

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