Guest List: Cock Off Cancer

Guest List: Cock Off Cancer

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 11.16.16 AM
Deborah’s saying: #cockoffcancer 

** For the next month I am dedicating Mother of All Lists to Stand Up to Cancer. Each week will be one persons unique account of the impact Cancer has had on their life. **

I first met Deborah aka @bowelbabe at the Stand Up to Cancer Day, where we spent the morning hearing from an oncology professor and visiting Cancer Research lab, before heading to the rebel heroes shoot in the afternoon.  We just clicked. I loved her energy. Plus the fact that she is a bit sweary and laughs a lot.

That night I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe Debs has got cancer’.  Her attitude to life and treatment was nothing like I’d seen before. Needless to say I am chuffed to be bits to be able to share a Guest List from her.


I’m a 36 year old Deputy head teacher with stage 4 Bowel cancer. I write a weekly column for the sun and generally do my best to tell Cancer to Fuck off! Here is my Cancer thoughts and advice in a nutshell! 

Diagnosis:

  • You are never too young, fit, healthy, pretty or ugly to get Cancer. 

  • Get your boxing gloves out. Fight your corner and then some, to get quicker appointments, better options and more opinions. 

  • If something doesn’t feel right – you are normally right. Listen to your body and if you are not comfortable don’t take no for an answer. My diagnosis took 6 months and I regret I didn’t push harder from day 1.

  • Question everything. 

  • Look at statistics and then park it. They will not change no matter how hard you search! 

  • You will go go into a dark place when someone tells you that you have cancer. It’s acceptable to get totally shit faced, buy loads of shoes and book an expensive holiday. 

    Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 11.07.37 AM
    Proving you can under-go chemo and look hawt!

Treatment:

  • You will meet wonderful doctors, nurses and medical practitioners.

  • You will be blown away by their passion to help you even at3am after you vomited all over their shoes. 

  • Be prepared to go insane during hospital stays. Just blame the drugs. 

  • The drugs they give you after operations are an experience in them-self. Make the most of them because you will cry when they remove the magic green button! 

  • Chemo is doable but don’t expect a smooth journey. 

  • You might have side effects that force you into total panic but hopefully you will find humour in them at times! I for example, lose my ability to speak whilst having chemo. Imagine 20 shots of tequila in 1 go. Scary as hell for me, but funny to the observer! 

  • Give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself and know that you will feel tired, sick, weak on certain days but it’s not all the time! 

  • You might get used to having chemo but you will never look forward to it.

  • Never do chemo on a Whisky hangover. Tried it once – vomited all over myself and everything within site. 

State of mind! 

  • It’s a fucking harsh rollercoaster

  • Cry when you need to cry even if it’s in the middle of a pub, a changing room, walking in a beautiful garden or trying ok Jimmy Choos – yes we are allowed to get emotional over shoes! 

  • Don’t watch the Ballet Giselle, 2 days after being diagnosed. It’s all set in the underworld and you might be thrown into the dark depths of depression hell as a result! 

  • Know that even long timers have dark times. 

  • Talk about how you feel including your darkest fears. You might not want to talk to those closest to you. 

  • Wine, chocolate, shoes and pictures of Tom Hardy will help lift your mood.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 11.11.53 AM
Scars speak a thousand words

State of body:

  • You will have scars. You will hate them at first. But you will learn to love them.

  • There is a chance you may just like to show them off at EVERY opportunity, use them as chat up lines or have a weird appetite for half naked photo shoots! Just Roll with it and blame the cancer! 

  • You will be amazed at how fragile our bodies can be. 

  • You will be amazed at how robust our bodies can be. 

  • You will get Fucked off with being jabbed with needles! 

  • You might discover an ability to shit, wee, vomit, sneeze and cough all at the same time!

Food and Drink:

  • Drink the bloody wine. Then drink some more. 

  • Then have tequila. 

  • And make sure you have champagne in the fridge to celebrate small mile stones or times you just don’t feel like vomiting! 

  • Unless advised against by your doctor, people often over analysis what a glass of wine (or 3!) might do. The reality, is chemo is one of the strongest poisons we use in medicine. The odd glass here and there won’t touch the sides in comparison! 

  • Eat whatever you want. Your body will tell you what feels right. I have days where I want carrots and only carrots, and days (sometimes 3 in a row!) where I’ll have McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner! 

  • Ignore the advice (mainly from people who haven’t been through chemo) that says only eat green juices, washed down with a pile of kale. Unless of course your body wants it, now is NOT the time to be on the STIRT diet! Yes be healthy but EVERYTHING in moderation! 

  • You will feel sick. Despite perfecting the art of vomiting between cocktails at parties – you should listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too far.

  • Curries might take you into an exploding arse realm you never knew existed! 

  • You will become a cheap date. Your tastebuds change and expensive wine will be wasted on you! 

  • You will sometimes wonder how you vomit sweetcorn when you ate peas!

Family & Lifestyle:

  • Your relationships with pretty much everyone will change – some for the better, some for the worst. 

  • I love my husband now more than ever and our marriage is in a good place. 2 years ago we both wanted to kill each other. 

  • Just tell your kids how it is. They are more resilient than you realise and will worry less if they don’t have to fill in the blanks themselves. 

  • Take the help. People are wonderful and want to help. Don’t be embarrassed to be descriptive about the help you need.

  • Be naughty, have lots of fun and blame the cancer! 

  • Love madly and deeply and kiss passionately. 

  • Make memories today to last a life time. 

  • Tell Cancer to go Fuck itself. 

    Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 11.08.04 AM
    I first met Deborah at the Stand-up to Cancer Shoot, where we were transformed into our rebel heroes.
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One thought on “Guest List: Cock Off Cancer

  1. This is a brilliant list and I recognise many things on it, the morphing button and hallucinations 😉. Points 2&3 are crucial.
    Hopefully you’ll be able to revisit this years later having been one of the ‘lucky ones’ and be talking through it to a conference with 2000 folk hanging in you’re very word!

    Like

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