Dr Nick Tupper and Richard Rimmington reminding fans of the four potential signs of bowel cancer.Club Doncaster have partnered with Doncaster CCG to run a series of cancer campaigns, the first being Colon Rectal Cancer. As part of the campaign we are very lucky to have the support of lifelong Doncaster Rovers fan Richard Rimmington, a bowel cancer survivor.
Richard’s story starts with a family member being diagnosed that caused panic each time Richard fell poorly. This was the driving force for Richard to regularly get checked if he thought something wasn’t right.
Richard began to develop stomach pains and put this down to a hernia, however the pain continued and further tests and scans were carried out. Richard then received a voicemail from the surgeon asking him to come in the next day where Richard was informed he had bowel cancer. The key questions Richard asked were; what will happen? Can it be cured? And How long is recovery?
Impact of the cancer on Richard’s life.
Early diagnosis and rapid surgery with no chemotherapy or radiation limited the physical impact on Richards’s life but he was unable to lift things or look after himself for some time. Long-term, he needs to plan each day and take medication when he expects to be away from a toilet for long periods.
Emotionally he didn’t initially take in the details of the diagnosis, then became worried not knowing what to expect about the treatment and afterwards. Later he developed a sense of guilt that his sister’s death from cancer had indirectly led to his early diagnosis and survival, although he has now come to terms with this.
What worked and didn’t work for Richard?
Richard’s employer was supportive and he was able to take time off with full pay and a managed return to work. He also received help from a health insurance policy, covering the cost of a cleaner and gardener, together with new clothes and a week’s holiday to aid recovery.
His network of friends supported him both before and after surgery. When he left hospital on two hours notice, one friend dropped everything and moved in to look after him for a few days. A neighbour did his washing and bedding.
For Richard, the worst part of the experience was not knowing what to expect, especially the longer-term physical and emotional effects. He says it would have been helpful to have someone to talk to who had already been through it. Richard is now a ‘Cancer Buddy’.
Club Doncaster would like to thank Richard for being ambassador for our campaign and urge fans to get checked should they show four potential signs of bowel cancer: blood in your poo, or looser poo for the past three weeks; lump or pain in your tummy; or unexpected weight loss.