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    DAWN14163   19,653
15,000-19,999 SparkPoints
Silent Killer :-(

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hello to my dear Sparkfriends, thank you for your messages and good wishes, apologies for my lack of response.

It's been a tough few weeks. I went home to England mid June and spent a wonderful week with my parents before travelling to the south of England to join my husband, daughter and son for our family holiday. During the 3 weeks we were away, my mum fell ill. By the time we got home again, she had been admitted to hospital. There followed 2 weeks of daily visits to see her, some days she looked very poorly, other days she was almost her usual self. On 1st August, I called in to see her before catching the ferry back to Belgium. Her consultant called me into his office and explained that it was likely Mum had cancer, although they wouldn't be sure until they completed tests the next week.

I arrived back in Antwerp around lunchtime the next day. My husband got home from Madrid that evening to find me feeling quite emotional and tearful. "Do you need to go back? I'll drive you now if you want" was his immediate reaction when I explained. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I wasn't prepared for the phone call that came a couple of hours later, my Dad telling me that Mum had passed away that evening.

The death certificate stated cause of death as Colonic Cancer and Malignant Ascites - advanced colon cancer that had spread to other areas of the abdominal cavity. Until 4 weeks earlier, she had had no symptoms. She only went to the doctors then because her legs were painful. Unbelievable.

I said goodbye to my mum at her funeral on Monday and returned to Antwerp today. It still hasn't sunk in. Trying to find positives, I'm just so grateful for the week in June we spent together, when she was her normal, "healthy" self. I'm also pleased that her illness didn't drag on for weeks and months, and she only suffered for a short while.

It's scary that mum's illness could have become so serious before she knew anything about it. Colon cancer is not routinely screened for here until you reach 70. I've been researching it over the last few days - apparently nicknamed the Silent Cancer as it is often symptomless until quite advanced. I think I will be asking my GP for regular tests before my 70th birthday....
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLABLACK69 10/10/2013 9:43AM

    I am so sorry for your loss... emoticon

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BEBOP4ME 9/4/2013 4:31PM

    So sorry for your loss of your Mum! It is something you always grieve, but it will get better.

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ALIHIKES 9/4/2013 11:50AM

    Dawn I am so sorry for your loss. emoticon

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LIS193 8/28/2013 11:32AM

    So sorry to hear this, Dawn. My condolances :(

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I.M.MAGIC 8/26/2013 5:56PM

    Just thought of something I want to add to what I said...

Like myself, people who get colon cancer are often prone to a certain type of large colon polyps, which are where the cancer usually forms.
There is something that may help. A diet of fresh whole, preservative free foods, and...

Soluble fiber.

It's so simple, but so few even think about it, much less do it. You can actually reduce your chances of developing polyps simply by eliminating chemicals in your diet and raising your fiber intake, particularly the soluble form.

My gastric specialist has prescribed 25-35 grams of fiber daily. Some of that comes from the fruits and vegetables I eat, and some of it from a soluble fiber supplement.

My last colonoscopy, there wasn't a single polyp... so maybe it will help you too--and it certainly won't hurt... it does take a bit of getting used to... LOL

Wishing you the best...
Kathy emoticon

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LEASIM1231 8/23/2013 3:15AM

    How sad! I can't imagine how you are feeling at this sudden loss! I am very glad you were able to spend time with your mom in what you did not know at the time would be her last few weeks. Thinking of you!

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I.M.MAGIC 8/22/2013 9:47AM

    So sorry for your loss.

For myself...I had no symptoms either. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time so my colon cancer never had the chance to penetrate the colon wall, and because of my other health issues they opted to skip chemo and radiation--such a blessing! I have been in remission now for 3 years...
The colon cancer screening is easy, though the prep isn't a very pleasant procedure, but it's SO worth it. I wish they'd had that for your mom before it caught everyone unawares. It really is a very sneaky disease... please do have that screening done soon, it isn't worth waiting, believe me!

My own mother died from an untreatable urinary tract infection (antibiotic resistant) five years after she'd had a major stroke. Since that stroke, we weren't totally unprepared for her passing--but it was till a shock.

I know how much your heart must be hurting right now. You'll miss her at odd moments of the day, and the holidays will take on a whole different aspect... but you will get through it.
The good memories you have will help...and your family will be there for you, don't be afraid to lean on their strength when you need to...
emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 8/22/2013 9:05AM

  So very sorry for your loss. **SIGH** It is heartbreaking when such a horrible thing takes a life so suddenly. My heartfelt condolences.

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STRONG_SARAH 8/22/2013 8:20AM

    So sorry for your loss Dawn.

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WILSONWR 8/22/2013 5:36AM

    I'm so sorry, Dawn. Losing a loved one is never easy, but losing one so suddenly is even worse. My dad died from colon cancer, and I am screen regularly - it has saved my life since they routinely find polyps.

You'll be in my prayers. If you need anything, I'm an email away.

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1BEACHWALKER 8/22/2013 1:06AM

    Oh, my I am so sorry to hear this Dawn! My deepest sympathies and thoughts are with you. Please do keep tested! Very important! Take care and know we are here for you! emoticon emoticon

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KAILYNSTAR 8/21/2013 6:52PM

    My sincerest sympathies. I am so sorry for the shock that you have had to go through. I'm glad to know that you managed to have a good time with your Mum before she was so desperately ill.

As for colon cancer, it can be hereditary. That much I do know. My Mom and has had some screening and found precancerous cells. She is fine though. I do know that what she has, is on my record as well. So I will go in for testing earlier in life as well.

I do know a lady here in town that passed away from colon cancer. She thought she had the flu. Finally she went in to see her doctor and found out what she had. She was gone in 10 days. Leaving a husband and a ten year old daughter behind.

I understand your shock and disbelief.

I wish you comfort. Love and beautiful memories.

You are not alone.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITFRIT 8/21/2013 6:51PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. We lost my mother-in-law to the disease a few years ago now. She had a few symptoms but they were masked by her diabetes so we never realized until it was too advanced. She battled the disease for a year and a half, went from her boisterous healthy self to a mere 85 lbs and didn't remember most of us. It was devastating to watch and my youngest daughter was heartbroken that her grandmother couldn't remember her anymore. I am so thankful to hear you have positive memories of your time with her. Hold on to those.

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ALIHIKES 8/21/2013 5:55PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is so sad to lose a parent, and particularly tragic when the disease is advanced without early symptoms. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with your family emoticon

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MOTHEPRO 8/21/2013 5:34PM


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LILRUNNERGIRL 8/21/2013 3:58PM

    I'm really sorry about your loss. Your story has touched my heart. My thoughts are with you. Stay strong during this difficult time. emoticon

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DR1939 8/21/2013 3:56PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. In the US we have a very aggressive campaign to have regular colonoscopies. It has reduced the death rate due to colon cancer dramatically. I think the first one is recommended at 40 and then every 10 years if there is no familial history of colon cancer. If there is a history, then it is every 5 years.

Please do not feel you have to respond to this email or to the goodie that I am getting ready to give you. You need some peace and quiet in which to grieve. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/21/2013 3:57:45 PM

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JACKIE542 8/21/2013 3:43PM

    So sorry Dawn, my thoughts and prayers are with you. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/21/2013 3:44:33 PM

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UNSWEETMAMA 8/21/2013 3:13PM

    I am so sorry for your sudden and unexpected loss. I am glad too that you got to spend that time together when she felt well. Take care and be gentle with yourself.

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SNIC23 8/21/2013 3:04PM

    I know there are no words that can ease your pain when you lose your mother, but my heart does go out to you. At least you can find some comfort in the fact that she wasn't sick for an extended period of time and you were able to spend time with her recently. I'm sure this is very hard on your father as well, I cannot imagine being in his shoes right now.

My husband had his first colonoscopy at 43 and tried to insist that I get one too. Maybe he's right, I didn't realize that colon cancer was without symptoms until that far advanced. Thank you for sharing.

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KNYAGENYA 8/21/2013 2:14PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I will make sure to light a candle when I go to Church. Cancer is scary. I had cervical cancer 3 years ago and when I was having my hysterectomy the doctor found I had ovarian cancer as well. My only symptom was being tired. It is really important to get screened. I hope the doctors will allow you to be screened for it. emoticon

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