My GP took blood tests which showed I was anaemic. Over the next few weeks I continued to feel ill with episodes of vomiting. I was prescribed iron tablets and told I had a combination of anaemia and low blood pressure.
I continued to feel ill and in July I was sent home from work. On the train going home I felt more unwell than I had ever felt in my life. I experienced a weird pinging and rushing sensation in my abdomen and also vomited. I was frightened and felt like I was going to die! I told my doctor who sent me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist made an off the cuff remark about going for a colonoscopy which I didn’t follow up on. Following more blood tests, I was told my iron levels were so low I should double the strength of iron tablets I was currently taking.
By September, I was still feeling ill and had a change in bowel habit. By this time I needed a blood transfusion and I was referred for a colonoscopy which I had in October. It showed a huge mass in my bowel. The doctor couldn’t get the camera passed it but managed to take a biopsy. My specialist did not think it was advanced cancer and surgery was arranged for three weeks’ time.
Four days later however, I was rushed to hospital by ambulance as the tumour had developed an abscess and I had developed peritonitis. I had a right-sided hemi-colectomy the next day which saw 60 per cent of my large bowel removed and two loops of the small bowel. I didn’t need a stoma. I had six months of chemotherapy with side effects of Palmer Planter Syndrome and Peripheral neuropathy.
Three weeks ago I had a liver resection for what we thought was metastatic cancer. I feel so lucky as it turned out to be hyperplasia, a type of overgrowth of normal cells. I am now having colonoscopies every two years and feel lucky to have the support of my husband and two children.