Linda's bowel cancer story (diagnosed age 63, VIC)

Prior to leaving for a three month holiday in our caravan I went to my doctor to get my blood pressure script for our journey ahead.

During the consultation my doctor asked how I was and I said ‘oh, I think those hemorrhoids must have popped’. She recommended I get checked out by a specialist before I left the following week.

Within the week I was able to get in to see a specialist who said I needed a colonoscopy. I explained I was going away but thankfully he had a cancellation on the Monday (I was going away on the Thursday). The day after my colonoscopy I got the phone call saying ‘you are not going anywhere you have cancer’.

The news came as a bit of a shock as I was so focused on getting ready for our trip - we could believe it.

I was admitted to hospital for a resection and had an ileostomy for 12 weeks, which was reversed in September. I certainly hit the ground running from telling my GP I was bleeding to being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

But I can honestly say I am so grateful for the support and care I was given and feel very fortunate it was picked up at such an early stage.

Everything has gone smoothly with my reversal. I have only had a bit more constipation but nothing else.

I recommend others to tell their doctor if they see or feel anything that’s not right and to ask for it to be checked. I’m lucky I listened to my doctor because at first I thought it really wasn’t necessary, especially before going on a three month holiday.

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