Lynda, aged 61
“I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in late 2009 and had surgery, resulting in a temporary ileostomy, which was reversed in 2010. I was treated with oxaliplatin and capecitabine via the SCOT clinical trial [now closed] which compared the effects of 12 weeks’ treatment against 24 weeks. I suffered with very bad sickness, so my treatment was delayed for a month and they attached an anti-sickness syringe driver to me. I also had anorexia and extreme tiredness at times during the treatment. It was quite a blow, as I had started to feel really well again after my surgery. My main chemo was tablets which required hospital treatment one day every three weeks. I did everything the medical staff told me – to the letter – and was especially careful when on chemo not to go into crowded places.
Once the treatment was over I began to regain strength really quickly, with lots of rest and healthy nourishing food. I have been really careful since my cancer to look after my health. I’ve just had the SCOT trial and they now don’t need to see me again. Everyone at the NHS from my GP surgery to the surgical team, chemo team and colorectal team have all been fabulous, dealing with not only the physical but also the emotional.”