Helen D's Kick Ass Story

I received my bowel cancer kit in the mail for my 50th birthday. I opened it, read about what I had to do, thought yuck ...poo on a stick in the fridge; I’ll do this some other time. And so the kit went into a drawer.... for later.

Two years later at 52 we were moving to a new house and I found the kit and thought ok I better do this. I sent it away, but I got a new kit sent out as they couldn’t test on such an old kit.

I almost put it aside again as I was ‘time poor’ but thankfully just got on with it and sent it again.

I got a letter back say the result was positive and to see my GP.

My GP said you’ll probably be ok, but we’ll refer you for a colonoscopy. I paid to have that done privately as the waiting list at the hospital was over a year long.

After my colonoscopy the doctor saw me in his office and put a picture of the report in front of me and I said, “Ewwww that doesn’t look good,” and he said no it wasn’t.

Now was the start of 2 years of treatment for cancer, originally stage 3 but when my surgeon operated, he found a spot on my liver as well so now stage 4 .

I’ve had 2 liver resections now as a year after the first one another spot was found and last week I’ve just found out at a follow up CT scan that what they thought was another spot was in fact a staple from the last operation (breathe!)

My treatment plan was long... radiation and chemo to shrink the tumour, then bowel surgery with a ileostomy bag for 7 months, then liver resection, then chemo, then reversal of bag and then another liver resection .
I worked when I still could, hiked when I could and rode my bike when I could ; I tried to just get on with it as I could.

Imagine if I hadn’t done that test at 52? I’m 55 now and kicking ass. I would not be here to tell my story if I hadn’t swallowed my pride and put the poo in fridge.

Share your Kick Ass Story

In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March) each year, Bowel Cancer Australia raises awareness of bowel cancer in women and shares empowering stories from Aussie women who are kicking bowel cancer’s ass.

Are you a kick ass woman living with or beyond bowel cancer, or do you have a female family member or friend that is?

We’re seeking female volunteers of all ages to share their experiences to help raise awareness of bowel cancer in women as part of our annual Kick Ass: Bowel Cancer In Women initiative in March.

Share your own story and help us kick bowel cancer’s ass.

Simply send us an email to register your interest.

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