Duncan's bowel cancer story (diagnosed at 38, NSW)

My name is Duncan, I'm 39 and I have stage four bowel cancer.

Just over twelve months ago, I received some out of the ordinary blood test results. I had gone in for a blood test as I had lost a lot of weight, had a little stomach pain, and a little blood in my stool. After the blood test my GP called and told me to come in the next day and they would book me in for a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy found a large tumour in my bowel.

The tumour was removed on the 15th April 2016. During the operation, a stoma was implanted. The stoma is permanent, and I have slowly gotten used to urostomy bags. It wasn't what I expected during surgery but was a result of the tumour's size and location.

I started Chemo in June, following the surgery. I had twelve cycles and finished up on November 11.

In what I thought was going to be a routine post-chemo scan new spots were discovered in my lungs and in the tissue around the base of my spine (the original tumour had not reappeared). Following this result, I restarted chemo in December last year.

Since then I've had both chemotherapy and radiotherapy to assist in keeping the disease under control and contained. I'm due to have scans later in September/October so we'll find out more then.

Needless to say, it has been a tough road so far. I have been well supported by my friends and family and feel incredibly blessed to have that support. While it is a tough road, I also want to enjoy each and every moment, the big and little things that life brings.

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