Kate G
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Diary of a "Fake" Cancer Patient - Constant Reminders

Kate G
Posted by
16 Jun 2014

It’s been a lovely weekend – my brother is getting married in August & he based himself & a number of his friends at my house for his stag do which included paintballing & a Hawaiian themed night out! My Dan was absolutely thrilled to go on his first “stag” at the age of 10, participated very enthusiastically in the paintballing & cost me an absolute fortune on paintballs in the process ….

When we arrived at the paintballing centre I had to fill out a questionnaire for Dan, which included the usual health & safety questions & I did wonder that if I had intended to take part, whether I would actually have been allowed to because of my cancer. In my experience, the second you mention the “c” word, alarm bells start to ring & limitations are immediately placed upon what you can or can’t do which becomes both frustrating & upsetting since it acts as a constant reminder that I have a chronic condition. I like to think that I’m sensible & I also believe that I’m intelligent enough to make my own judgements about what I am capable of so it really annoys me when people don’t “get” that. I can’t even go for a spa day these days without first having to have detailed discussions with my therapist about the staging of my cancer, the location of the tumours & what (if any) treatments I have had so by the time I’ve done that, I’m tired & fed up of discussing the one thing I’ve gone to get away from & my mood subsequently hangs around all day.

It’s funny how cancer forces this change of perspective on life & things that you would never associate with it are affected in the weirdest of ways! Recently I went for my annual eye test & had decided that since I need my glasses more & more as I get older, I would see if I was suitable for contact lenses. My rationale was, that if I was, I would make a fashion statement of it & get green tinted lenses – well that was the plan anyway …….

All the tests went fine & the Optician said that I was a perfect candidate for lenses & I got a price & was in the process of fixing up an appointment to trial them when the Senior Optician reviewed my notes. She said that I could never have contact lenses since there was a higher risk of infection & that because my immune system is compromised an infection could cause loss of sight within a matter of days which was pretty depressing to hear. Yet another door slammed shut & I’m ashamed to admit that I went home & cried. It’s not always easy to hear things like that & it makes me feel like a bit of a reject sometimes – no contact sports, I can’t give blood & no-one wants my organs! It’s not even as if I want to do all of these things – as far as exercise is concerned I don’t get much further than walking the dog, but it’s just that telling me I can’t do them acts as a sharp prompt that I have this “illness” despite the fact that most of the time I feel absolutely fine.

And so constant reminders are yet another challenge to my state of mind & my equilibrium & they serve to put me in my place when all I want to do is to lead a “normal” life. Such is the diverse nature of the life of a blood cancer patient & each day brings fresh trials & tribulations.



Hi Kate,

Thanks for your really interesting blog, I would never have thought about all of the other limitations that you would have to face. I hope that tomorrow is a trial-free and blissfully normal day.

Gemma x

Ellie Dawes

I felt really sad reading this Kate, it seems so unfair that your life should be impacted in so many ridiculous ways. I'm not surprised at all that being denied contact lenses upset you.

I hope you shelled out on some fiercesome trendy new glasses? You could get tinted glasses, you are easily as cool as Johnny Depp.

Hope you have a better week, keep blogging we love reading your updates. Do make sure you add tags and categories to your articles, these make sure they appear around the site in relevant places so that other users, particularly patients, can find them more easily. I've added a few tags to this article for you.



Hi Kate,

Another great blog - you always throw up an interesting angle thanks to your ability to speak so frankly about what you're going through.

You're completely right when you say that blood cancer changes so much and inhinges on your life in so many small little ways that you'd never have dreamt of when you first got diagnosed.

Sorry to hear about the lenses - you'd have looked awesome with green tints. However, I think ultimately you might have dodged a bullet as my sister hates the hassle of having to constantly take them in and out. Keep blogging and keep making the most out of life as you watch and wait.


Thanks Andy, Ellie & Gemma for your comments - have had a few technical problems sending replies so really hope this works ..... I can't tell you much I appreciate everyone's feedback on my blog - it means so much to me & this evening I feel a bit choked up. Really glad I'm making points of interest & always happy to join the debate thanks again Kate xxxxxx


Hi Kate

I really enjoyed reading this post, it's very interesting to hear some of the problems you've encountered. And after meeting you yesterday I also think that those Johnny Depp glasses - with so much positive attitudes would suit you so well! :)

Best wishes