|Peter's story (62, QLD)|
I was first diagnosed with a hernia, which seemed to explain the changes in my bowel habits and the stomach pains I had been experiencing.
But in the lead up to the Easter long weekend in 2009, I started feeling pretty unwell.
We had family arriving so I didn’t really want to make a fuss – we were meant to be enjoying Good Friday together, after all – but I felt much worse as the day went on and started vomiting.
My wife said, ‘No more, we’re getting an ambulance’, and I was admitted to hospital via emergency, where they carried out blood tests, x-rays and a CT scan.
We all thought it would be a matter of running some simple tests then sending me home but the longer I was at the hospital the more the pain escalated. The CT showed I had a perforated bowel, so I was taken into theatre the very next day. During this surgery they found bowel cancer.
Fortunately they caught it at an early stage, which meant a colostomy bag and 26 weeks of chemotherapy (5-FU), with a few minor side effects like red hands and watering eyes. Right from the initial diagnosis I was determined to BEAT the disease.
In six or eight weeks from now, I hope to have my colostomy reversed. In a recent CT scan, the doctor found several small lumps on my lung; we’re hoping this won’t be a problem but should know more after another scan in June.
I am currently in remission and I say with no doubt in my mind that my greatest support has been my family.