What other people hear: She’ll be there for a couple of hours
What actually happens: Hospital on Friday for covid test; spend Saturday panicking; no food from Sunday 9am until Monday 4pm; Sunday evening drink two litres of bowel prep; at hospital for 9am Monday; actual endoscopy(ies) at 10.30am with sedation; another 30-60 mins in recovery, discharged around 12pm; home at 12.30pm. But hang on, it’s a capsule endoscopy too, so no drinks allowed until 2pm; no food until 4pm (a total of 31 hours without food) then waiting for the capsule to *evacuate*; panicking when it doesn’t in case you need an x-ray to check if it’s still there, or the test might need to be retaken if there wasn’t enough footage and you have to go through the whole thing again, or need surgery to get it out; then finally relief when it does come out right before bedtime and the recorder thankfully hasn’t run out of battery; worrying still though in case the bowel prep wasn’t good enough for clear pictures and the test needs to be redone, or if they find cancer again; then work in the morning (but only from home as you had sedation and can’t drive again yet), where you need to be a productive human being and ignore it all, while awaiting the capsule endoscopy results.
Welcome to cancer. That was my “weekend” – how was yours?
On the plus side, the gastroscopy found nothing abnormal. Hoping for good results from the capsule endoscopy, too. That would make up for the sore throat and jaw and the embarrassment of chatting absolute nonsense to the nurses while sedated. And getting bile in my hair.
I’m starting a new webinar series on creative writing! It will be aimed at cancer patients, survivors and caregivers who would like to write through their experiences.
The series will include topics such as poetry, memoir, essays, blogging, body image, getting published and more.
The series is still in the planning stages right now, but if you would like to receive more information, please fill in the email signup form. Make sure to tick the “webinars and workshops” checkbox at the bottom.
Additionally, if you know anyone who may be interested in this webinar series, please send them the link to this post so they can sign up to find out more.
I’m planning some webinars/workshops on creative writing for people living with and after cancer. Topics might include writing poetry, writing your memoir, getting published, blogging, self-care, exploring identity, exploring body image and more.
If this interests you, it would be extremely helpful if you could fill in my survey to let me know the types of online events you’d like to attend. Please also share the link with anyone you think may also be interested. Thank you so much in advance!
I don’t have any photos of me in the hospital or in a gown or anything like that. I don’t have many photos at all of me during the time of my diagnoses and surgeries. However, I have dug out a few from around my first diagnosis in 2010 and my second and third in 2018, to show in picture form what my cancer experience looked like from the outside. Brace yourself:
My memoir Gut Feelings: Coping With Cancer and Living With Lynch Syndrome is out now on Amazon!
“Lynch syndrome is a genetic condition that makes it more likely for a person to get cancer. In other words, it’s the world’s worst loyalty programme.”
Colon cancer, uterine cancer, duodenal cancer. Colostomy bags, infertility, genetic testing. But also, joy. Also adventure. Also grit.
GUT FEELINGS spans ten years from the author’s first diagnosis to the life-changing surgeries for her second and third. Racking up a collection of medical experiences – and losing countless organs along the way – Sam Rose has stories for anyone facing the uncertainty of cancer or Lynch syndrome, to help patients and survivors feel less alone.
This has been getting some attention on Twitter – it’s a campaign to encourage people to go for cervical smears. It’s based on the statistic that 57% of women don’t want to go to their smear test because the beauty salons are closed. (I question this figure later.) And the campaign is to get people to share a photo of a cat whose fur best represents their pubic hair, in order to raise awareness.
Here’s how you can help to raise awareness: 🐱 Share an image of the cat that best reflects your undercarriage/flower/bits (technical term vulva!) current look. #⃣Use the Hashtag #myCat. 👭Tell and tag your friends to let them know. pic.twitter.com/8aHf96ynjT
Mr postman, bring me a dream (bom, bom, bom, bom) Make it an invite for the covid vaccine (bom, bom, bom, bom) Say it will reduce my risk of exposure (bom, bom, bom, bom) And that the pandemic will soon be over
Postman, I’m vulnerable (bom, bom, bom, bom) And all this shielding can feel miserable (bom, bom, bom, bom) Please help me get the vaccine Mr Postman bring me a dream
Earlier this year I was invited to be on the WhyMe with Vera-Lee podcast, and the episode has just been released!
During the episode, we talk about my three cancer diagnoses, Lynch syndrome, my PhD research and my writing. Vera-Lee and I had such a great connection, and I loved our conversation. Give it a listen and let me know what you think! I’m happy to talk about any issues brought up in this episode.
I’m slightly late with it, but it’s that time of year when I get all introspective and retrospective and all the spectives, really, and think about what I achieved in the last year and what I’d like to achieve next year/this year. It’s been difficult to get into that headspace this year – even though the time between Christmas and new year is usually my most productive and thoughtful time, it hasn’t come naturally, probably because – well, look at the state of this year.
Regardless, I’d like to have a little think about it, look at my previous goals and set some new ones. So this is what I said I wanted to achieve in 2020:
standing at the back door accommodating winter in gusts, the clear sharp moon in my throat and my friends on a screen on my coffee table but I can’t hear them over the bangs and they have left their seats already to watch their own displays. I had run upstairs with Peter and counted again, at least eight of them, like I did on November 5th. It’s the first year I didn’t hear a countdown – I always forget the Hootenanny ignores the coming of the new year, carries on, and the TV was muted anyway, but this time, with just the two of us in the house, at least in flesh, we did not count but we did kiss late and the bang and crack and light that had been going on since daylight now overtook the house, everyone’s house as our web conference brought six of us together in stereo. Amidst the madness I was grateful for the fireworks blurring one year into the next because the expectation would have been too much weight to place on one count, on ten numbers standing separate and fragile, so instead the community decided we would have a gradual bringing in of cheer, a blurring of time, as it had been all year, and watching all the displays from the back door, the clear sharp moon in my throat made me hopeful, each blast of light and sound proving that despite everything, so many of us were standing upright on this earth and celebrating, still finding some glimmer of joy or hope and throwing it in the air like a penny in a fountain.