• Health,  Mental Health

    Intuition or paranoia?

    Ever since cancer came along, my reading list changed to include books talking about diet, exercise, mental health, breathing etc etc in order to ‘stay in remission’. I am not so naive to believe that these factors will keep me in remission and I am fully aware that cancer can rear its head no matter what I do; that’s the scariest part. One book delved into ‘intuition’ and how our body uses its intuition to know when something is wrong or right for us.  I knew something was wrong with me pre diagnosis because I also had physical pain, signals telling me that something is wrong. The hard part was…

  • Bowel cancer,  Colon cancer,  Rectal cancer

    Understanding ‘mets’

    When we talk about cancer, we use stages to determine where the cancer cells have traveled. When I was first told that I had cancer, the doctor said  I had a tumour in my bowel and the cancer had traveled to my liver and maybe my lung (can’t remember which one now and it hadn’t, thank goodness) so bascially my cancer had mestastasized, quite simply put, it had spread from the primary source (my bowel/colon) through lymphatic nodes and to other organs. So, when people with cancer talk about mets (also known as lesions) or in my case liver mets, they are saying a form of tumour in another organ.…

  • Bowel cancer,  Colon cancer,  Health

    Benj’s story

    ‘Benjamin Anthony Millard, our son, Abigail and Stephanie’s brother, was a husband, stepdad, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. We all loved him…we all love him. Where do you start a loved one’s cancer story, when the story was so short and the outcome was so poor, but that was Benj’s journey with cancer. So the start, as with every one, is the day Benj discovered he had cancer, and the end came less than eight months later when he lost his life to bowel cancer. Pre-diagnosis So rewind a little, pre-diagnosis, and meet Benj. He was 6’ 2”, he ate healthily and well, he went to the gym every day,…

  • Fitness,  Lifestyle,  Mental Health

    Consistency and the Two Big C’s

    We all know that consistency is key and that most our results in fitness and nutrition come from this consistency but how do we stay consistent when life keeps throwing us curve balls? I have struggled with consistency in fitness and have been guilty of program hopping (you should see all the PDF’s in my iBooks folder) even though I would tell myself ‘Just stick to something Jo! ‘ After the birth of my daughter, I had a period (2016) of consistency with the BBG program and lost my baby weight. I was also running and committed enough to run a half marathon. Even in 2017 after I settled back…

  • Health,  Surgery

    Liver Resection and Recovery

    It’s been a while but I have finally kicked myself into gear and written a post!! It’s a long one but every detail highlights my journey, ups and downs…… If you have been following my story, you should know that I went into remission or at least it seemed that way in May and if you are just reading my journey for the first time, I will try to explain as much as I can! I had a great clinical response to my chemotherapy and the six lesions that I had in my liver appeared to have calcified. Scans of any kind are not 100% accurate, a cancer cell is…

  • Bowel cancer,  Health,  Mental Health,  Positivity

    Nobody Said It Would Be Easy

    Following the birth of her eldest daughter in 2013, Laura Stephenson gave birth to twin girls on April 25th 2017.  There was huge excitement among all the family, her mother, her two sisters, in-laws and of course myself, her dad. Two identical girls that arrived amidst lots of questions:-  Are there twins in the family , how do you feed two at the same time, do they both sleep at the same time, will Mum and Dad get any more sleep, the need for a twin pram, can we fit 3 car seats in the back of the car.  Lots of questions all based around the twins.  In the middle…

  • Colon cancer,  Health,  Mental Health

    Martha’s story – La historia de Martha

    My name is Martha, I am 48 years old and I live in Florida. I was diagnosed with colon cancer on December 20, 2017 at age 45; this is my story.   I am the mother of two beautiful young children and the wife of a wonderful man. The fourth of five sisters created by good parents, especially my mother. My life changed in December 2017 when what I thought was a simple problem of exhaustion turned into a nightmare. It was during a very important time, my daughter was turning 15 which is a tradition for young Latino women, the celebration of her 15 years. We were preparing a…

  • Fitness,  Health,  Mental Health

    Jeremy’s story

    My name is Jeremy Echols. I live in Houston, Texas and am 35 years old. I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at 33. Before my diagnosis I practically lived in the gym. I worked out eight times a week, followed a strict meal plan, never smoked and was not a heavy drinker. There is no genetic history of colon cancer in my family.   My story begins in May of 2018 when I started noticing abdominal pain. Nothing too severe, but it was consistent. A month later I started noticing blood in my stool so I booked an appointment with a colorectal surgeon. He told me “I doubt…

  • Health

    ‘Colin the Colon’ Tunnel Educates About Colorectal Cancer

    As you know, I now live with my family in Johannesburg which is where I received all my treatment. I have been fortunate to have phenomenal South African medical professionals treating me. I want to pay back that kind by raising awareness about cancer in South Africa.  I am happy to say that I am collaborating with CANSA who have launched its Colorectal Cancer Awareness Campaign this month. Please keep reading to find out about this amazing campaign – raising awareness, educating and saving lives!   Afrikaanse Media Vrystelling 11 March 2020 – CANSA launches its Colorectal Cancer Awareness Campaign in partnership with Medtronic, the global leader in medical technology,…

  • Fitness

    Exercise during chemo?

    Before I was diagnosed with colon cancer in August 2019, I regularly worked out. I would usually wake up around 5am and do strength training before my daughter woke up, although on occasions, she would wake up and watch me! During the last couple of months prior to being diagnosed, my energy dipped dramatically, I had extreme exhaustion which meant no more exercise. I also had severe abdominal pains and was on the toilet more often than I was off it. After my major surgery to remove my tumour, I had to take six weeks to recover as I had a pretty big scar and bruising to contend with! I…