Sarah S's Kick Ass Story

I started to feel unwell during the latter stage of December 2014. I was often very tired, weak and had lost weight which I attributed to a lack of appetite due to erratic abdominal pain.

When I began experiencing an inconsistency in bowel habits I saw my GP and they thought I had a stomach bug. Despite treatment, my symptoms persisted and after more GP visits, a full round of tests were undertaken, resulting in a trip to Emergency for an iron infusion as my levels were critically low.


A Gastroenterologist examined me whist in Emergency and booked me in for a colonoscopy. It was during that a 6cm tumor was discovered, along with hundreds of polyps in my colon. I was told I had cancer - a huge shock given my age, relative health and no family history.

By March 2015 I had undergone surgery where most of my colon was removed (ileo-rectal anastomosis) and after a six-week recovery from the operation I was back to hospital for my first round of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy was tough!

I was being treated for Stage 3 cancer (the tumor had gone through the bowel wall) and it was a difficult journey. My chemo treatment involved an infusion in hospital every second week with a “take-home” bottle that drip fed me additional drugs for another 48 hours before I returned to hospital to have it removed.

This was the routine for six months before I celebrated my last chemo round, a very big milestone! I was incredibly tired and often nauseous throughout my chemotherapy treatment and I relied on the help of family and friends as well as the support of the incredible hospital staff (both doctors and nurses), without which I don’t think I would have gotten through.

Even though it was a difficult journey I maintained a very positive attitude to my treatment and I always felt like I would reach a successful result. Stay positive!

It took me a full year to regain my strength and to come through the ‘fog’ of treatment and now, over two years post treatment I am feeling back to my old self and am getting on with a normal ‘cancer free’ life! I had the last CT scan required post chemo treatment at the end of last year, and with no recurrence of my cancer detected, I am in remission.

I was fortunate to have great medical support and a successful treatment. My advice to others is to listen to your body and seek medical advice when something doesn’t feel right. Bowel cancer is a disease that affects the entire population – as a healthy woman in my early 40s it wasn’t something I was expecting at all, but if it is detected early enough, it is treatable and the rate of successfully overcoming bowel cancer is good.

I have returned to work and I am enjoying spending time with my husband and our young daughter, watching her grow up. Life has returned to normal for me and I feel extremely lucky and very grateful to have my health back.

Banner Bowel Cancer Australia Helpline
Support Bowel Cancer Australia
Bowel Cancer Australia Social Media
Banner Bowel Cancer Australia Non Modifiable Risk Factors 300