Pauline had bowel cancer diagnosed in 1991. She received surgery and chemotherapy, and had a secondary liver cancer which was successfully treated. For her, cancer is something to deal with and get over, and doesn’t think about it much nowadays.
Pauline was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1991. It was a shock when she was diagnosed as she was a healthy person before then, who hadn’t had many other health problems.
She received a bowel operation and chemotherapy as initial treatment. A secondary cancer was found in her liver, for which she received a liver operation and second round of chemotherapy. She found that her friends and family were wonderfully supportive while she was ill. However, when she was having treatment she had to chase for chemotherapy as they didn’t call her automatically. She also had to wait and chase for her diagnostic and follow up scans, which was worrying. Additionally, she didn’t think the nursing staff at the hospitals were as caring as they could be. She was discharged early following her operation, and came home to recover. The staff from her GP surgery helped her through recovery; nurses from her surgery came to clean out her central line (PICC) every two weeks.
Pauline says that it takes quite a long time to get over all the operations and chemotherapy, and she didn’t realise quite how ill she had been until a few years later. She doesn’t think cancer has changed her or that she has any long-term problems; it was just another thing to deal with in life. She doesn’t dwell on it nowadays, but sometimes worries a bit that the cancer might come back.