Proud of myself

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As most people on this group know I'm Colette and I have stage 4 Gallbladder cancer, it has metastasised a few times now to my bowel,, abdomen and in my peritoneal cavity (twice) and also next to my urinary bladder. I have been dealing with this particular cancer for 7 years now (2016) and in between surgeries and chemotherapies (had that twice) I also had Papillary thyroid cancer as well as Mucinous ovarian cancer, anyway I'm not here to chat about that today...

I'm here to say I am actually incredibly proud of myself right now, and that is not something I usually say about myself, but I did a charity abseil off the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool for my cancer hospital, Clatterbridge on Saturday and I raised a decent amount of money (£830) but the reason I am proud is more to do with the fact I am scared of heights and didn't understand how high 150ft  actually is, it's really high trust me ha ha... The weather was atrocious, we had thunder, lightning and torrential rain but i waited and finally got my turn to lean backwards and go!

I decided at the beginning of this year I'd had enough of allowing cancer to steal from me, because I fell into a trap of saying no to things, it was becoming my automatic response to everything. I do believe some of that was down to COVID and being scared and vulnerable maybe. My last surgery was in July last year which was tough but I made the conscious choice that 2023 was going to be a year of saying yes to everything and it's actually quite liberating and I realised something last year too... I was imposing limitations on myself and now I refuse to do that.

So if you're having a tough day or week or month, I just wanted to share that even on our darkest days the sun is still shining even if it's hiding behind the clouds, there is always hope that it will make an appearance even for a short while.

Colette xx

  • That whole story is truly amazing. I’m proud of you, too x

  • Thank you I hope you're well?

  • Hi Colette,

    Well done on your abseil and rightly so you should be proud.  I am keen to seek out your other posts as you have a similar diagnosis to my Mum, however, hers is much more recent.

    My Mum was diagnosed with BTC 6 weeks ago.

    She was diagnosed with gallstones July 2021 and was told her gallbladder needed to be removed straight away but they sent her home.  They then said they'd call her back in a couple of weeks and never.  As she remained symptom free she didn't chase it.  She got a call in January 2023 to discuss removal.  She had lots of blood tests and various scans...only a suspicion of a mass on the gallbladder but likely inflammation.  On 09/06/2023, she went to have her gallbladder removed.  However, when she was opened up the suspicion was evident, plus it had invaded the liver, colon and duodenum and had also spread to her diaphragm.  We were all heartbroken.

    We met with the  Oncologist at Clatterbridge Liverpool to discuss starting chemotherapy and immunotherapy which is due to start next week.

    I'd really love to hear more from you.

    Take Care, Steph xx

  • Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your mum Steph, how devastating for you and your family. I know all too well how it feels and I also understand the complete shock a d helplessness you must be feeling too. 

    In 2016 when I was newly diagnosed I started to write a blog, more to vent than anything else and it definitely isn't a literary masterpiece. My blog isn't in anyway from a medical perspective but a personal account of living with the disease, on how I felt and how I coped being diagnosed and so forth..

    Please reach out anytime via private message if you like... I've attached the link below to my blog but it does read from most recent post so you will have to scroll backwards. I have been told it's been helpful to others in this situation.

    Best regards


  • Thank you so much.  I will definitely take a look and pass it on to my Mum to read too.  As it is so rare, it's good to find others with a similar diagnosis.  Wishing you lots of good health xx

  • I'll apologise in advance for some of my really sweaty language but it is exactly as I felt and still do at times xx

  • Hi Colette I found this and your blog so inspiring! I’m early to a diagnosis which was so bleak and I’m looking for ways to find hope. It is great to connect with people here as it’s a lonely time. 
    Take care 

  • Hi Joyousjoyous, I just read your bio and I'm so sorry you're in the position you are. I was around your age when I was first diagnosed (46). I'm sorry to read your tumours are inoperable, but I assume the palliative treatment is to reduce the size of them? Is it chemotherapy you have been offered?

    I know there isn't any specific cure for GBC but various chemo regimes for similar cancers (liver etc) have reduced the size of GBC tumours so I wish you nothing but success with the treatment and I'm happy to listen if you want to chat.

    Colette xx