Carol's Story


My Name is Carol and I'm writing this on behalf of my husband

John and I are now in our mid 70’s. Married back in 1964, he trained as an Engineer and I was an Insurance Claims Clerk. We had 3 children and took a chance by moving to Africa for a few years before settling back in the UK.

He never had any time off work throughout his working life until he hit the milestone year of 60. We had been enjoying a day out with friends when he started to feel ill, Doctors discovered he had “sick-sinus”, which is a heart condition, necessitating the insertion of a pace-maker. He was soon back at work and continued up to being 65 when he retired.

We started to enjoy our retirement, travelling and enjoying Gardening, joining the local Community Centre and D-I-Y. Great-grandchildren came along and we enjoyed spending time with them.

John developed pneumonia and ended up back in hospital, he was diagnosed with Myeloproliterative disease, which is a problem with his spleen. Warfarin and regular blood tests were now part of our life. It slowed him down a little but we continued to enjoy our time together.

3 years ago we were in Portugal,
enjoying a Villa holiday, with son and his in-laws. John said he felt he was developing flu, and slept a lot, he was having incidents of loose bowels too. Thankful we had laundry facilities

On return home he deteriorated and was hospitalised. He waited 14 days for a CAT Scan, had a Colonoscopy and was diagnosed with Cancer of the Bowel. We met with the Surgeon along with our McMillan Nurse and the procedure and after care were explained to us.

4 weeks after returning from Portugal
John underwent Surgery, he was very worried and unsure of the future, after 8hr Surgery he was back on the ward, “high as a kite” on the Morphine drip, talking rubbish. The Surgeon told me it had been a difficult operation.

5 days post op he was home,
visits from the District Nurse to remove sutures and check his Stoma, which he calls “Albert” after his father. He had developed a “tremor” and found it difficult to change his bag. I took over changing his stoma for him and also helping him and out of the Shower. We have had some quite bad leaks but seem to have it under control now, but occasionally it catches us out. Thankfully we are able to order all our Stoma equipment via telephone and if we are running low delivery is next day.

3 years down the line
after having undergone chemo treatment, the last CAT scan shows him to be clear. We were thinking about a trip abroad next year, but now he’s developing Kidney Pain, and he’s having Lithotripsy treatment, and still has Myeloproliterative disease which means frequent blood tests. He remains positive.