BowelBloke.com has been set up by Matthew Wiltshire, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2015 and is now living with an advanced (stage IV) prognosis.
The reason for creating this site and the associated social media activity is simply to help those facing bowel cancer, and maybe to help people take action to prevent it.
Since diagnosis, Matt has found so few men talking and discussing cancer and their own experiences.
Through BowelBloke he hopes to try and improve that.
Through sharing his story, Matt hopes to
Raise awareness of bowel cancer
Raise funds for charities supporting bowel cancer
Get men talking about their illness
Deliver positivity to those suffering
Matt wants BowelBloke to help demonstrate that you can take some control of your illness; that you can make a difference to the outcome.
My name is Matthew. I’m 51 years old, and I have stage IV bowel cancer. Local recurrent colo-rectal cancer with lung metastases to be a bit more precise. It’s a right pain in the arse.
According to the experts its incurable and I have “some years” left of my life: so, what do you do? This is the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced but when you weigh up all the options, the only one for me is to live the fullest life I can while doing everything I can to survive.
What am I doing to heal?
One of the most debilitating feelings I have with my diagnosis and subsequent prognosis is one of helplessness. The feeling that everything is happening to you, that you are very much the patient, and a passive observer in the medical process.
For me, I have to find some way to be more in control, taking active participation in my healing and doing tangible things to make a difference.
This has driven me to a great deal of reading, the summary of which leads me to believe in taking an holistic and integrative approach to healing; I’m not ready to dismiss the standard Western oncology treatments, in fact I embrace them. But I am also convinced that there is much more that I can do to help across the spectrum that relates to physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. It is in this area that I can take some control.
As a cyclist I draw a great analogy from Dave Brailsford’s philosophy when he took on the British Cycling Team.
Dave Brailsford explains the idea of marginal gains to the BBC in 2012:
"The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together." - 15 Sep 2015
I am trying to do as many healing things as I can in order to increase my odds of survival.
Tips, advice, reading
LIVING WITH CANCER
Living with cancer rather than dying from it. It’s a state of mind that gives me the strength to keep going, and for me is about doing as much as I can – as I’ve said previously, trying to fit 30 years into 3. You can enjoy life, it is possible to smile, and laugh. You can also feel sad, and cry and it’s important for me to be true to my feelings and let them happen rather than hide them.
I want to spend my time focussing on healing, on being with the people I love, creating as many memories as possible. I want to spend my time doing the things I enjoy, things that make me smile.
It’s so important to have strong reasons to live and to have a sense of purpose, and now I’m not working I can really spend time doing the things I never had time for. One of those things is to try and help other people in my position through building awareness of bowel cancer
Please click on the charity logos to read why I support them
Please Support BowelBloke's Challenges Encourage others to check today
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The charities I work with rely solely on the donations they receive. Their work is so valuable to so many people so whatever you can give, no matter how small, will make a real difference.
BowelBloke's Cycling Challenge
I need to exercise and the only way I know how is to get on my bike. I’m going to try and cycle 1500 miles by the end of 2019. That’s a lot when you’re on fortnightly chemo!
BowelBloke's Weight Challenge
Losing weight. I need to get rid of a stone and a half and MAINTAIN it. Goal is to have this done by summer of 2019, and be the same weight at the end of 2019
Think you can Help? Get in Touch
Please help Matt in fighting this shit disease. Excuse the pun!