Thursday, September 27, 2007

Answering Trudi's Call

Catching up. Too busy to blog yesterday. A conference, CPRW interviews, an hour's canvassing and finished up watching Welshpool bt Newtown 1-0 in a Welsh Premier Cup game with a late well taken goal by man-of-the-match, Chris Venables.

The Conference took the form of a Colorectal Cancer Study Day. It was held at the rather depressing venue of the Severn Hospice in Shrewsbury - and was for Shropshire GPs, radiographers, specialist nurses etc.. No votes for me there. My role was to give the 'Patient's Perspective' - or as Tracy said when she asked me to perform, "What it was like for you". Tracy has appeared on this site before. She works as a specialist stoma nurse for the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospitals Trust. I look upon her as an angel.

I wanted to take in some of the presentations, including a research paper on 'genetics'. There is a slightly increased risk where there is a family history of bowel cancer. I hope our 4 children check out their internal drainage systems by colonoscopy every 5 years or so after they reach the age of 40. I'm not one to be consumed by health risk but screening for bowel cancer really makes sense. The reason - early detection usually leads to full recovery while late detection usually leads to an early death. Good enough reason? There's a 4 stage scale. The 5 year survival rate of those caught at Duke's Stage 1 (me) is 80%, at Duke's Stage 2 is 60 %, at Duke's Stage 3 is 30% and at Duke's Stage 4 is 5%. 16,000 people die of this disease every year, and I don't want any of our children to be one of them.

It was all pretty heavy stuff. So I lightened the mood a bit. I didn't lower things to the level of a speech to a stoma nurses Xmas Dinner (where absolutely anything goes) but since I was the last presenter, it seemed right to look on the cheerful side. Anyway, Trudi was pleased with me, and that's what really matters.

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