Hollie's bowel cancer story (diagnosed age 24, WA)

Despite experiencing horrible stomach pains and bloating and visiting a few different GPs about my symptoms, I was told I had IBS and female problems. My mother has Crohns so I finally found a GP who would send me for a colonoscopy to test me for this.

After being on the waiting list for a while I finally had a colonoscopy in April 2011; however, it had to be abandoned due to the extreme pain I suffered during the procedure. I was scheduled to have another colonoscopy as they had found a polyp during the first procedure. This scan never happened until February 2012 and it was at this time a tumour was discovered – it was almost blocking my bowel.

The news was a huge shock. The doctor sent me for an urgent CT scan and made an appointment for me to see a specialist at Fremantle Hospital. The scan showed metastasis on the liver. I was booked in for surgery a week later.

The surgery went well and after recovering I was booked in for six cycles of chemotherapy (Fluorouracil (5-FU)) in order to shrink the tumours on my liver and to allow the next operation to go ahead. The chemotherapy caused me to feel nauseous and tired. It also gave me sore hands and feet.

The chemotherapy did its job and I was scheduled for a portal vein embolization where they cut the circulation off to the right side of my liver. After four weeks my liver grew to a decent size and I was booked in for my next surgery.

Right now I am recovering from the surgery and I still have more chemotherapy treatment ahead. All of my family is in NSW so it has been a struggle and also hard on my relationship with my partner. My two dogs have been wonderful companions for me throughout all of this and I spend a lot of time with them. I just take one day as it comes.

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