A journey from my initial diagnosis of rectal cancer to wherever it takes me
We’re back on the treadmill. I’m now on cycle 3 (out of 4) of Irinotecan by IV followed by 14 days of Capecitabine. This has gone largely side effect free. I’ve had a bit of nausea, but the major issue has been fatigue. There have been days when I’ve just wanted to sleep.
I’ve also completed 5 sessions of radiotherapy on my sciatic nerve. The process was very easy. The only issue I had was that they put 3 small tattoos on my abdomen which they use to line up the machines to ensure you get zapped in the right spot. The 2 near either hip were fine but the one in my belly was painful. I can’t imagine how some people have tattoos by choice. They must have a much higher pain threshold than me.
I have noticed a reduction in the pain in my leg but still no improvement in my mobility. During my radiotherapy I was given steroids to help with any inflammation it caused. I did experience a number of sleepless nights though.
I have also applied for Personal Independence Payments. The process is quite drawn out. Initially a telephone conversation with the DWP, then a form to fill out, then a face to face assessment (fortunately at my home) and then back to the DWP for a decision. I’m awaiting the decision. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’m hurtling towards the big 60! Next week in fact and I’ve been contacted by my pension company to inform me that I have a pension plan due to mature when I’m 60. I have a decision to make concerning what to do with the money. I have to be honest and say that a guaranteed income annuity is probably not an option as I’m now classed as incurable. So we’ll see what my options are.
It’s also made me think about my life in general. This is not how I envisaged my retirement. I should be climbing mountains, learning to sail or at least playing golf. Nd with the weather we’ve had I should be way ahead on my allotment. I have so much time on my hands, but my mobility issues make the simplest of tasks difficult to say the least. I have a huge list of jobs that need doing round the house and garden but am unable to do them as they require the necessity of being able to stand unaided.
I have also come to the conclusion that I will not be returning to work. With the level of fatigue I have plus the ongoing chemotherapy I have decided to retire through ill health. I have had a meeting with my line manager and an HR rep so I’m just waiting for a conversation with occupational health and then awaiting their decision. My pension won’t be a great deal due to the limited number of years but every little helps. I won’t qualify for a state pension until I’m 66. Fingers crossed I get there.
I’m just about to come to the end of my chemo cycle and should be finished by the end of March. Then a new set of scans and hopefully the chemo has worked. I’m not sure how things will go after that. If I’m incurable will I immediately start another round of chemo or will I have a break? If the chemo hasn’t worked will I start a different treatment straight away? Lots of new questions to ask my oncologist.
So lots going on. Eadie, my granddaughter, gives me nothing but joy and there’s lots to look forward to. I’m feeling well apart from a cold I had recently. I know there will be ups and downs but we’ll deal with those as and when they happen. I’m determined that I won’t worry about the ‘what ifs’ in life. Next week it’s blood test, Oncologist and the start of cycle 4.
Bring it on!
Sorry to hear of your problems.
I have been helping my brother through colon cancer.
Currently he is in remission, back at work and he is doing will
With regards your job as a general rule it does not pay to retire.
You should be currently receiving invalidity benefit from the government which is not means tested and possible some form of disability allowance. I guess that will all be roll into your Personal Independence allowance.
If I understand correctly while you are off with ill health you are accumulating pension years.
You will also have some form of insurance through your pension scheme as an active member which will be better than as a retired member..
Probably your best option would be your company to make you redundant. You should then get a redundancy and a possible enhanced pension.
I am not an expert so you will need to check.
Thanks for the advice. The intention is for my employer to make me redundant through ill health. I would then be able to get an enhanced pension.
Best wishes to you and your brother.
Wishing you success in your treatments, and a Happy 60th I have taken early retirement on health grounds I am 59..I had worked for my employer for 40 years and contributed to a pension scheme for all of the time I worked there - and even tho I have non hodgkin lymphoma waldenstrom, which is not curable, and I had been suffering many of the associated symptoms and also receiving treatment the process wasn't straight forward ..and just at a time when your fight is a bit flagging ..you have to summon a bit more ..I hope that your retirement request is plain sailing, and that after your treatment and recovery you are able to do the stuff of dreams ..even if they maybe slightly tailored
Good to hear from you, but sorry you are incurable and that the mobi,it is still not improving.
Happy 60th, and enjoy your retirement. With your indomitable spirit you will.
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