Lain's bowel cancer story (diagnosed age 27, WA)

On the 4th of May 2017, at age 27... Just 19 days before my 28th birthday, I was told that I have bowel cancer. Not particularly in the nicest way either.

It was blunt and I was alone in a hospital bed having just come out of a colonoscopy and woken up still high on the anaesthetic; tucking into sandwiches left by my bed having not been able to eat in about 60 hours by that point.

I have been sick for quite some time and had these symptoms for probably more than a year before finding out...

Initially, I put it down to food allergies and bad stomach reactions when eating... my GP ran several tests which all came back saying I was as healthy as anything and yet I was so sick.

So I pushed on with it and was given antibiotics in case of a parasite to no avail as well as steroids in case of inflammation (again to no avail... unsurprisingly now).

I put things off for far too long and then ended up having to wait just under 3 months for my endoscopy and colonoscopy and as a result, my cancer is at quite an advanced stage.

Now, there is treatment available and it is already underway... I have had a surgery to mark the tumour and to section the bowel and I am now awaiting radiation and chemotherapy which is due to start in a couple of weeks' time.

Radiation is for 5 days a week for a 6 week period and chemotherapy is 7 days a week for a 6 week period.

After this, I have an 8 week break before having my main surgery to remove the cancer, then another break for about 4 weeks before having 6 months of more chemotherapy and radiation for an unspecified schedule as of yet.

So for me, it's a long journey and is likely to be quite taxing. Well, it already is... with most days finding myself sick and/or extremely tired and having to attend a myriad of various appointments and making numerous hospital visits.

Keeping a positive mindset through and adopting an optimistic outlook and approach to it all. I have also been highly fortunate to have such a great network of support in my family and my friends.

As for you... if you have any symptoms of bowel cancer or something you are unsure of, please do get yourself checked! Just ask your GP.

It would be much better to find at early stages. I'd hate for anyone else to suffer through this or be looking at the same future that I will now have for the next 12 months of my life.

I've been told that this is a disease that usually occurs in patients over the age of 50 but it certainly does not discriminate. I'm just over half of that and am in advanced stages of bowel cancer so just goes to show that nobody is safe or exempt.

Thanks for reading and please take care of yourselves!

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