Vic - Interview 08

Age at interview: 81
Age at diagnosis: 73
Brief Outline: Vic was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and received a permanent ileostomy. He now considers himself cured, and feels that diabetes is a more important health issue nowadays.
Background: Vic is a colorectal cancer survivor, with one daughter. He is retired.

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Vic had colorectal cancer, and now has a permanent ileostomy. The main cancer related issue he is dealing with is living with a stoma, which still leaks. He also would like access to a radar key to allow him to use public disabled toilets, but does not qualify as disabled with an ileostomy. Driving long distances can be hard as he is unsure where he can find or use a disabled toilet to change his stoma bag. He also received radiotherapy. He was having a coloured discharge recently which made him worried that the cancer had recurred, but it had not.
Vic also has diabetes, so his doctor has to balance all of these comorbidities and manage his drug regimes. His lifestyle nowadays is dictated by diabetes, not cancer. Diabetes is his biggest problem and is progressively getting worse, in contrast to his cancer which is effectively cured. He doesn’t want to be classified as a cancer survivor, and would rather be a diabetes survivor. 
He was abruptly discharged from regular hospital follow up 5 ½ years post diagnosis, and wasn’t expecting it. It would have been nice to be told he could go back if he had any questions or given some information at that stage. He didn’t received any leaflets or information on managing a stoma and his GP never asks about it. He is glad to have a direct line to the hospital to be able to directly access help if for any problems or possible recurrence.
Vic feels that cancer is in his past, and that he has seen the end of it. It is a period of life that he’s been through. He is able to be positive with people who have had cancer and tell them there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Vic’s message to people with cancer is ‘Don’t give up hope.’

Vic has made no lifestyle changes because of his colorectal cancer except that since his...

Vic has made no lifestyle changes because of his colorectal cancer except that since his...


 You mentioned that you’ve changed the way that, you know, maybe you can’t bend down and do gardening in the same way. Have you made any other changes to your lifestyle now as a result of having had cancer?

No, I don’t think so. I mean the lifestyle is dictated really by the diabetes. I mean a lot of what I do, I mean I do my own cooking. I mean the diet is quite restricted. As far as the cancer is concerned it hasn’t affected that at all. But it is, I do find the biggest problem is gardening and, of course, any activity that involves bending.
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