While I was was on chemo, the project seemed entirely manageable. It was broken down into small chunks. All I had to do was get through the current cycle, then the next scan. But as of this morning I am officially on a chemo break.
The previous Government set a measly target to bring the UK up to the average survival rates for Europe; an increase of just 3% after 5 years. How can we achieve a breakthrough in the battle against cancer when our aim is to do no better than other countries are already doing? And meanwhile, other countries are probably investing more, setting more ambitious targets and forging even further ahead.
Deep down, we know that we should be safe in the sun. I certainly knew it, but my husband Graham thought he was 'indestructible' and so he didn't wear sun cream. It's only now, as a widow after Graham was cruelly snatched away by skin cancer when he was just 43 years old, that I can't believe I didn't act differently and make him protect himself.
It's hard to know what to say to someone who has undergone a traumatic, life-changing event such as a cancer diagnosis. People are terrified of saying the wrong thing. Although nothing you say to a person with cancer can make it any worse for them, behaving authentically towards them can make a positive difference.
Ten years later, what are my reflections on my experience as a carer? First, I never saw myself as a carer. The word 'carer' implies forced responsibilities. I was simply and overwhelmingly John's girlfriend who only wanted the best for him. We had wonderful times together - cancer isn't all bad - and his illness only made us appreciate each other even more.
I appreciate everything I do now so much more than before. I suppose it is because I am constantly aware of the fact that if things had gone slightly differently then there is a very good chance that I wouldn't be here now.
Not only is there the huge struggle to treat this awful disease while consecutively dealing with the mental strain it puts on patients and their loved ones, there's the sting in the tail in that they can't even go on holiday half the time, even when in remission. Seriously.
Yesterday's news that 70 per cent of people living with cancer also have at least one other long term condition is yet further confirmation that cancer is now a complex disease. And it is worrying news for a health and social care system which is already struggling to provide the cancer care that people deserve.
Abby-Jo is thirteen years old and has a pretty vicious form of cancer which is waging war on her body. She is currently on a drug trial which brings with it some hope but also brings hideous side affects which make the poor kid feel like she's in some sort of washing machine of doom.
Every day, six young people aged 16-24 receive the shocking news that they have cancer. Treatment usually starts immediately, can last for up to three years, and disrupts every area of their lives. Of course, this can include relationships and sex. And yet at such a formative time the issues that arise are not often openly discussed. Until now.
It's less than three weeks to go until the General Election. Whatever your political views I think we all agree that these are interesting times as we use our vote to influence what happens over the next five years. For bowel cancer, we see the new Parliament as an opportunity to say loud and clear that we must save and improve lives by setting out within that time frame the significant steps we need to take to beat bowel cancer.
Introducing free social care at the end of life is a golden opportunity to improve people with cancer's last experiences, while simultaneously easing the strain on the NHS.
I think a major reason for such lack of knowledge about bowel cancer and its potential to be beaten is that it deal with bottoms and bowels, and the symptoms of bowel cancer involve blood and poo. These aren't subjects for polite company. We need to change that.
I want to spread the word about this young lady and see if we can't all be a little inspired by her grace and courage. If she (and her family, come to that) can remain smiley, grateful and positive during this horrific ordeal, then you can deal with that white van that just cut you up on the A3. Or whatever.
There is unlikely to be a happy ending for me as at the moment my disease is 'incurable'. But I have had a second operation which removed virtually all of the tumour and following a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy I am now having clear scans.
Since its introduction, the NHS bowel cancer screening programme has been shown to be the most effective method of detecting bowel cancer early. Not only does screening pick up bowel cancer in the earliest stage of disease, it can also detect dangerous polyps which may develop into bowel cancer.