Dad dies after showing cancer symptoms on daughter’s 16th birthday

A daughter has shared her grief over losing her father to pancreatic cancer after he was diagnosed on her 16th birthday.

John Strutt was just 47 years old when he died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years prior.

He began to feel unwell while attending a concert at the SSE Arena. A few days later, on Tuesday November 21, his daughter Rosie’s 16th birthday, John went to see his GP who noticed he “wasn’t a good colour” and he was sent straight to Antrim Hospital.

In an all-white room, they then noticed that John was a luminous yellow colour, which they likened to Home Simpson.

“The professionals thought he had a blockage somewhere,” Rosie told BelfastLive. “As it was my birthday, we were due to go out for dinner to Deane’s Meat Locker in Belfast. I didn’t expect my dad would be unable to come. I thought a few days in hospital would sort him out.

“It never occurred to me he could have cancer. He was healthy and rarely sick.

“Ten days later on December 1, 2017, at 44 years old my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I felt silly for not noticing any symptoms because I spent a lot of time with him.”

In January John had Whipples’ Procedure, a surgery taking over seven hours, at the Mater Hospital, Belfast, followed by seven months of oral chemotherapy.

A CT scan in April 2019 revealed John’s cancer had returned and it was incurable. A period of IV and oral chemotherapy followed before he was referred to palliative care.

Rosie, who is now 20 years old was 18 when her father died. She is one of a number of children and young people taking part in NIPANC’s #TimeMatters campaign for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, who have lost a parent to pancreatic cancer. They are sharing their stories, so other families don’t have to face the trauma they have.

“Our parents promised us from the start; as soon as they found out information, we would be the first to be told,” she added. “Their communication kept our family strong. When the CT scan came back the second time, I was in the middle of my first year A-Levels. My parents kept it a secret so I could stay focused, then told us all together on the day I finished.

“During the final days, he was admitted to the Northern Ireland hospice. I was at Uni in London by then so came home for what I thought would be two to three days. He stayed for over a week, so did I and mum. We took turns sitting up with him but every day his body weakened.

“He died late at night after a long fight.”

Rosie says she had never heard of pancreatic cancer before as it was not a diagnosis many people were familiar with.

“My brother is an avid reader and when he found out about the diagnosis, researched it. I learnt from him and eventually looked into it myself. I was shocked at the low the survival rate often due to misdiagnosis and late diagnosis. Jaundice is one of the main characteristics. I kicked myself for not noticing it earlier. We also thought he had an upset stomach because certain food disagreed with him. Pain on eating is another common symptom. I’m now well-educated on the symptoms, but had I known back then, there would have been a better chance of survival.

“I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. Sometimes just sitting with him or making him cups of tea or coffee. Making tea always reminds me of dad. He liked it a specific way with two digestive biscuits squished together with loads of butter.

“About six months before he died, he told mum he’d really love another dog. My mum is not a dog lover. I’ll always remember when she said “John, if that’s what would make you happy, we can look for one. It was all part of my dad’s master plan. Little Frank, the staffy arrived in July 2020 and he is Mum’s bestie. Grief is a funny thing. One day I cry at everything, pictures, songs, things that remind me of him. On other days I laugh about the good times and the memories and the traits we share.

“When I first found out that my dad’s cancer was terminal, I was fuming. Why us after everything? Why my dad? But death doesn’t work like that, it doesn’t discriminate. I learnt to channel my emotions into things that would make him proud.

“I worked hard to get into my first-choice university in London. I got a job and did my first-year exams eight weeks after he died. I want to make him proud. I’m taking part in this #TimeMatters campaign for NIPANC because I believe it is important, if even one person understands the symptoms and gravity of pancreatic cancer it could save a life.

“Knowing the symptoms could mean a wider range of treatment and a better chance of survival. If I had known even a few of the most common symptoms, maybe my dad would still be here or maybe he would have had just a little bit longer. #TimeMatters.”

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  • 59 минут назад 27.11.2022Health Care
    Green poo could signal 5 stomach problems – expert on ‘stool colours’ to spot

    Stool makes for a rather uncomfortable topic, leaving many people feeling squeamish. However, paying close attention to your bowel habits could break the news of various conditions, ranging from cancer to irritable bowel syndrome. Green tint in your stool is just one of the pesky colours that could alert you of an ongoing health problem, according to health experts.

    Going green is a well-known phrase used to describe someone who looks sick and this colour cropping up in your stool could also point to a health problem.

    Gastroenterologist Dr Christine Lee told The Cleveland Clinic that green poo could be a red flag symptom for five tummy problems.

    The first two conditions that can present with greenish stool are of bacterial nature – salmonella and E.coli.

    Salmonella is a bacterial disease characterised by diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps, while E.coli is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of healthy people and can cause relatively brief diarrhoea.

    Norovirus is another tummy problem that could be spotted in your poo. Also known as the “winter vomiting bug”, this stomach bug causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

    The last two conditions that can spur on this sign include irritable bowel syndrome and a parasite called Giardia that causes a rapid transit “gush” of unabsorbed bile.

    “All of these health issues are possible, but they’re not the norm,” Dr Lee said.

    “If you feel perfectly fine and don’t have diarrhoea, a different colour bowel movement is most likely linked to something you ate,” the expert said.

    Express.co.uk spoke to Dr Allswell E. Eno, author of the book The Anglo-French Exchange and the founder of The Black of Respect campaign, who also stressed that green stool tends to be more of a reflection of your diet.

    Dr Eno said: “In older children and in adults, stool may acquire a green hue in those whose diet is high in green vegetables, typically leafy ones like kale, cabbage, lettuce.

    “The green [occurs] due to the green pigment in the plants known as chlorophyll.

    “It has to be remembered that in the case of large amounts of green vegetables eaten, some of that plant material is the carbohydrate cellulose, which is indigestible, so will end up in the stool, some of it containing chlorophyll inside that undigested plant material.

    “The other typical cause is high amounts of green colouring in foods and confectionery, which may be natural (typically chlorophyll or derivatives of it) or artificial.”

    According to Dr Lee, other potential foods and drinks that could be turning your poo green include:

    “In any food-related case, the funky tint should disappear within a day or two once the source is flushed out of your system,” Dr Lee concluded.

    Furthermore, Dr Eno shared that other colours in your poo could be more reliable predictors of stomach conditions.

    Dr Eno said: “In cases of upset tummy (viral gastroenteritis or ‘food poisoning’ – bacterial gastroenteritis – due to any of the usual bacteria that cause this E. coli, Salmonella species), diarrhoea and/or vomiting occur.

    “In the case of diarrhoea, people describe various stool colours – most commonly brown or may be bloodstained. It is not the colouring brown or green that is the clinical concern.”

    The doctor listed all the worrying poo colours that experts are “concerned” about:

    If you’re worried about any persisting changes in your stool, you should speak to your GP.

  • 59 минут назад 27.11.2022Health Care
    Expert’s six best foods that boost body temperature – eat before bed to ‘keep you toasty’

    With the weather growing colder it can become a challenge to warm up at bedtime. And given the current rise of energy costs, many won’t be turning on the heating just yet. Alongside classic warming techniques such as using hot water bottles and wrapping up in extra layers, there could be a way to beat the cold via snacking.

    Sleep expert and director of Bed Kingdom, Ashley Hainsworth, spoke with Express.co.uk about foods that can naturally heat up your body and induce sleep.

    “Having nuts before bed, such as peanuts, almonds, and pistachios, can increase the speed of your metabolism and raise your body heat, therefore warming you up for bed,” he said.

    “As well as this, these nuts contain melatonin, a natural hormone that helps to control your sleep cycle and therefore helps you get some shut eye.”

    He commented: “It’s no coincidence that cinnamon is associated with winter – thanks to its thermogenic properties that increase our body’s heat when it’s cold, it’s perfect to consume before bed.

    “Having a sprinkle of cinnamon in a glass of milk at night-time won’t just heat you up, but due to the tryptophan in milk which induces sleep you’ll also find it easier to rest.”

    “Oats may be something that you would normally have at the start of the day, but they have several benefits that prove useful for bedtime,” Mr Hainsworth said.

    “They are slow to break down in your body due to being high in bran and fibre, and this slow digestion releases warming energy.

    “Plus, this food also contains melatonin to improve your sleep.”

    He explained: “Filled with vitamin B and magnesium, bananas help with the functioning of your thyroid and adrenal glands, thus regulating your body temperature in the cold weather.

    “In fact, the high levels of magnesium don’t just keep you warm, but they also help your muscles to relax and calm your body to ensure you get to sleep easily.”

    He said: “Ginger is another excellent food you can consume to warm you up before you catch some Zs.

    “With the vasodilating properties in ginger, your blood vessels are relaxed which contributes to an increased blood flow helping your body to heat up.

    “Opt for a ginger tea – and if you’re suffering from a stuffy nose due to the weather, this will ease that to help you sleep better.”

    “Being a root vegetable, carrots cause your body to heat up due to the necessity for more energy during digestion,” he concluded.

    “And while some vegetables may not be the best thing to consume before you try to get some shut eye, carrots are one of the vegetables that will promote sleep as they contain the alpha-carotene nutrient as well as potassium.”

    But he added: “While there are several foods that can keep you toasty, there are others that will do quite the opposite – so when you’re trying to warm up before you go to sleep, there are some foods in particular you should try to avoid.”

  • 59 минут назад 27.11.2022Health Care
    Doctor says ‘fan therapy’ and a surprising fizzy drink could help with a cold

    Cold and flu season is nearing, with an onslaught of infections to be likely in December. Having a cold or the flu can feel grotty, but one of the “best” things you can do to help alleviate discomfort is to implement “fan therapy”. Dr Desai explained: “If you’re getting a really high temperature, you need to remove clothing and get a fan on [you].

    “It will bring the body temperature down as quickly as possible, and will help you to feel better.

    “You may feel cold and want to wrap up, but this is one of the best ways to bring down body temperatures.”

    While the thought of cuddling up to a hot water bottle might seem appealing, if you have a high body temperature, this isn’t going to help you to feel better.

    “Fan therapy is one of the best things you can do when feeling unwell,” Dr Desai emphasised.

    In regards to the saying, “starve a fever, feed a cold”, Dr Desai says “this statement is a myth”.

    The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says while both are contagious respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses.

    “In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are typically more intense and begin more abruptly,” the CDC adds.

    The symptoms of the flu can include: fever, feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

    Symptoms of a cold tend to be more mild than that of the flu, and people who have a cold are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

    “If you feel a cold coming on, [paracetamol and ibuprofen] should be taken together”.

    Dr Desai specified that “these should be taken together, in their generic forms (at adult doses) rather than as a combination tablet, if [you have] no allergies”.

    To address a build-up of mucus in the nasal passage and chest, while decongestant nasal sprays can work, they are not recommended for more than a few days, and steam inhalation is better.

    Long-term use of decongestant nasal sprays “can cause long-term irritations”, and they should not be used in tandem with decongestant tablets.

    “Steam inhalation is one of the best ways to keep our sinus passages clear of mucus,” said Dr Desai.

    She elaborated: “Steam loosens mucus, making it easier for us to blow our nose effectively.”

    It’s also paramount to remain hydrated as people perspire more when they’re unwell.

    “In terms of fluids, you need salt, sugar and electrolytes so oral rehydration sachets from the pharmacy can improve hydration levels,” Dr Desai clarified.

    “Small amounts of drinks like full-fat cola or glucose energy drinks can help settle an upset stomach.”

    Dr Unnati Desai is National Lead for GP Services, as well as Safeguarding Lead for GP Services and Dermatology Lead.

    De Desai has worked as a corporate GP within Nuffield Health since 2011.

  • 10 часов, 59 минут назад 26.11.2022Health Care
    Emilia Clarke felt ‘violently, voluminously ill’ when an aneurysm burst inside her brain

    In a candid interview, Clarke recalled how a gym visit led to hospitalisation. “The morning of February 11, 2011, I was getting dressed in the locker room of a gym in Crouch End, north London,” she began. “I started to feel a bad headache coming on; I was so fatigued that I could barely put on my sneakers.”

    The 36-year-old remembered forcing herself to get through her workout; then, when she was in a plank position, she “felt as though an elastic band [was] squeezing [her] brain”.

    “Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room. I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill,” she told The New Yorker.

    “Meanwhile, the pain – shooting, stabbing, constricting pain – was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged.”

    In the 2019 exchange with the publication, Clarke revealed a woman in the next cubicle came to her rescue by putting her into the recovery position.

    “Then everything became, at once, noisy and blurry,” she said. “I remember the sound of a siren, an ambulance; I heard new voices, someone saying that my pulse was weak.”

    Throwing up bile, she was admitted to the emergency room of Whittington Hospital, London.

    Quickly sent for an MRI brain scan, medics diagnosed Clarke with a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

    The life-threatening stroke was the result of a ruptured aneurysm Clarke had at only 24 years old.

    Clarke said the medical team performed an “endovascular coiling”, which involved “a wire into one of the femoral arteries, in the groin”.

    She added: “The wire made its way north, around the heart, and to the brain, where they sealed off the aneurysm.”

    When she awoke from the three-hour surgery, “the pain was unbearable”; her “field of vision was constricted”; and she felt “parched and nauseated”.

    During her recovery period, Clarke developed aphasia, which meant she was unable to voice what she was thinking.

    When a nurse asked Clarke what her name was, “nonsense words tumbled” out of her mouth.

    Clarke shared: “I’d never experienced fear like that — a sense of doom closing in.”

    Eventually the aphasia passed; Clarke went on to film season two and season three of Game Of Thrones, and even appeared on Broadway.

    Then, following a routine brain scan, another aneurysm was spotted, so she underwent a second surgery.

    “The recovery was even more painful than it had been after the first surgery,” Clarke said. “But I survived.”

    Grateful to be alive, Clarke said she as “healed beyond [her] most unreasonable hopes”.

    Working alongside SameYou, Clarke shared how the charity aims to provide treatment for people recovering from brain injuries and stroke.

  • 10 часов, 59 минут назад 26.11.2022Health Care
    Jamie Redknapp has ‘finally decided to fix’ his dodgy knee with surgery

    Throughout his football career, Jamie Redknapp has been plagued with injuries, having had 12 surgeries on his right knee. “So I have finally decided to fix my knee and get a full knee replacement,” he posted to Instagram on Saturday, November 26. The 49-year-old revealed that when he was 18, he “had of all of the meniscus removed from the inside of [his] right knee”.

    This, he said, made the area become “bone on bone”, as the tough, shock absorber was removed.

    “Whilst I was playing I had to have physio appointments at all hours,” Redknapp shared.

    “It was a constant battle to keep the swelling down and pain under control, but after at least 12 surgeries I have decided to have it done.”

    The dad-of-three thanked “Dr Sweetnam” and his “great team” for looking after him “so well”.

    Referencing his new titanium knee, Redknapp quipped: “I assume I will be setting off the X-ray machines at the airport.”

    He stated: “And watching all the World Cup games is going to make this rehab a touch easier.”

    Medically referred to as an arthroplasty, the NHS explains the common operation “involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint”.

    The health body adds: “Adults of any age can be considered for a knee replacement, although most are carried out on people between the ages of 60 and 80.”

    While knee surgery is a “common” procedure, it is still considered “major surgery”.

    Redknapp can expect to be in hospital for up to five days, according to the recovery process stipulated by the NHS.

    Once discharged, a person who has had knee surgery will need to use a frame or crutches.

    Physio will be needed, as specific exercises will help to strengthen the knee.

    “Full recovery can take up to two years as scar tissue heals and your muscles are restored by exercise.”

    For a few unfortunate people, pain might still be experienced in the knee area two years post surgery.

    While complications of surgery are rare, there are still risks involved.

    Take for instance, stiffness, following surgery, some people might experience a stiff knee.

    There could be an infection, which would require further surgery, or there can be “unexpected bleeding into the knee joint”.

    “In some cases, the new knee joint may not be completely stable and further surgery may be needed to correct it,” the NHS adds.

  • 15 часов назад 26.11.2022Health Care
    Tongue scraping – do you do it? Dentist says it can ‘prevent gum disease and cavities’

    Tongue scraping, as the name suggests, is scraping the tongue to get rid of any harmful bacteria. While it’s not as important as flossing or brushing your teeth, experts recommend incorporating it into your daily routine. Harmful bacteria can lead to inflammation of the gums as well as potential cavities.

    According to Patel, your tongue can hold a whole host of bacteria, and so it is a good idea to keep it as clean as possible.

    He said: “This is often done using a toothbrush to manually brush the tongue or by using mouthwash, but using a tongue scraper may offer different benefits.”

    Tongue scrapers work by scraping away any bacteria or debris that is sitting on the tongue.

    Patel explained: “Often after we eat or drink our tongue can feel fuzzy or like it needs a clean, so morning and night scraping your tongue can help to remove bacteria from that area to prevent any dental issues down the line such as inflammation, gum issues, cavities or bad breath.

    “Tongue scrapers are pretty effective in removing bacteria from the tongue, and in some cases a dentist would suggest purchasing a scraper and including it in your oral hygiene routine.”

    Decreases chances of bad breath – Patel said: “Using a tongue scraper removes bacteria sitting on your tongue, and so this is helping to keep your mouth clean which should prevent bad breath from occurring.

    “Often bad breath can occur due to food particles or bacteria sitting on your tongue, and so removing these will help to keep your mouth clean.”

    Help prevent gum disease – Patel said: “Tongue scraping can also help prevent gum disease, as often bacteria on the tongue can actually aggravate the gums and could lead to inflammation, this could then lead to gum disease. So removing this bacteria often will help to keep the mouth healthy.”

    Prevents cavities – Patel said: “Again, removing bacteria from the tongue using a scraper can keep the mouth clean and so this will help to prevent tooth issues down the line such as cavities. The more we can help to keep our mouth clean the less likely it is that we will suffer with tooth decay or other dental complications.”

    Improve your taste – Patel said: “Research has shown that tongue scraping can actually improve your sense of taste. If scraped twice a day, your tongue may be able to distinguish foods more easily and you will be able to taste salty, sweet or sour foods more easily.”

    Improves the appearance of the tongue – Patel said: “Tongue scraping can also improve the appearance of the tongue, when often our tongue has a white coating, scraping can remove this and leave it looking clean and healthy.”

    A study published in 2006 suggested tongue scrapers only slightly reduce bad breath.

    Volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) levels are produced when bacteria and amino acids interact to produce bad breath.

    The study suggested tongue scraping can lower VSC concentration, subsequently reducing bad breath.

    But it added the reduction is only short-term and not an absolute solution for eliminating malodour.

    The NHS suggests the following for treating bad breath:

    Here’s how to tongue scrape:

    1. Stick out your tongue

    2. You should start the scraper at the back of the tongue

    3. Run the scraper all the way to the front three or four times

    4. Be sure to use light pressure

    5. Rinse the scraper under warm water between scrapes

    6. Swish your mouth out with water afterwards or use mouthwash if you wish

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