World Cancer Day

At last! I have been talking about doing a weekly blog for months. So finally I have sat down, stopped pontificating and am putting pen to paper as it were.

Well, here we are on February 4th 2021 – World Cancer Day. A day when social media is full of reminders of the fantastic work many charities do across the world in every area where cancer rears its ugly head. The ‘C’ word is talked about every minute of every day and I am pretty sure everyone has been touched by cancer at some point in their lives. However, there is still one area that we have not got to grips with and that is recognising the signs of cancer in our bodies and getting a diagnosis.

Last night we found a lump on Barney’s tummy. (He is Tom’s beagle for those that don’t know). My immediate reaction is ‘Oh my God it will be cancer!! He must see a vet now!’ Okay, I probably over-reacted but I knew straight away that I wanted it checked out so that he could be treated if it was sinister. Why is it then, that as humans if we find something unusual on our bodies, our reaction will be;
‘Oh it’s just a lump’,
‘It’s nothing, I will keep an eye on it’,
‘Oh I don’t want to bother a doctor with this’.

Even when these lumps get bigger we choose to hide them away. A sort of out of sight, out of mind thought process. I vividly remember going to a Sarcoma conference and seeing photos of huge lumps that were hidden by young people under their clothing. When asked why they hadn’t gone to get it checked out they said they were scared it would be something bad. Every one of them has since passed away but if they had just had the courage to get seen when the lumps were small they might be here now.

I can’t stress enough the importance of getting checked out if you are worried about anything new. And if you are not happy about the answer get a second opinion. Tom was seen by doctors for over 6 months before someone finally recognized the signs. I will forever ask myself why didn’t we push for more tests. What we learnt, we can share with you. I know of at least 2 young people who listened to Tom’s story, who got checked out, had cancer, were treated quickly and are still here now.

So what I hope you take from this is it may not JUST be a lump this time.