*A general warning that some may consider the following too much information. But if you have appendix cancer (or any other bowel-related cancer/issue), you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from!!


It’s a universal truth that when children come into your life, at some point everything becomes about poop. Prior to children, talking about poop is generally considered inappropriate. None of your friends care to hear about your bowel movements over dinner and drinks (no matter how eventful). But once you become a parent, all bets are off. Discussions about poop – it’s consistency, colour, frequency and stench – will undoubtedly be had with little regard to location be it a fancy restaurant or the local park.

Along with discussions about poop comes the cheering and congratulations for the act of pooping. “Oh you went on the big boy toilet. Yay!” I used to joke to our 4 year old that no one cheers me on for going to the toilet. Until now.

Now, if there is talk of or cheering for poop, I’m usually the at the centre of it. Thanks appendix cancer!

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, part of the delightul investigation process was a colonoscopy. Anyone who has had one will be familiar with MoviPrep – satchets of salty powder you mix with 2 litres of water designed to clear out your poop shoot. If you’re not familiar with it rest assured it lives up to what it claims to do.

I’d say I don’t know why I left the toilet during my evening of MoviPrep but the toilet is at the back of the house and freezing cold. Each time I made the trek back to the loo, the little dude would cheer “Go Mama, go!” Sometimes he’d yell “Don’t poo your pants!” Little did he know how touch and go things were!

I know it happens with many medical conditions, but for me having appendix cancer means life at some points is planned around expected bowel movements. Take one of our trips to the snow. We packed the potty ‘just in case’ because I’d been up half the night unwillingly involved in a game of ‘shart or fart’. Thankfully, I won every round but the 7 hour drive to the snow had me nervous.

Then there’s the gas. I inadvertently ate cabbage in public one day so spent 20 minutes standing with me feet shoulder width apart gently bouncing to move it through and get relief from the pain. Put a baby in my arms and it would look totally natural. With out one it looks like awkward man-dancing.

As much as I know it’s definitely TMI, I’ve even had to apologise to almost-strangers for the potential passing of gas. I held it in once out of politeness and spent 2 days in agony listening to what sounded like the Titanic sinking in my stomach.

Chemo hasn’t helped either. The combination of drugs I’m on is known to cause the runs. So between the cancer blocking me up and the chemo cleaning me out it can at times be a literally shitty ride. Take the day Naomi had to ring the oncology ward at the hospital and ask just how much Movicol and Coloxyl you could take together. Turns out, a lot. On their advice Naomi went to the chemist and $25 of poo-moving concoctions later I was back to normal. Thank God, because I couldn’t sit! Worked a bit too well though because an hour later, I had to search for the gastro-stop.

What I’m trying to say is that as unsavoury as poop conversation is, sometimes for some unlucky people, life revolves around it. Outings are planned around loo locations and food is chosen based on potential gastrointestinal impact. So take some sympathy on us. And if you smell something off, blame the dog!

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