At the age of 35 I started experiencing rectal bleeding so my GP recommended I have a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy confirmed three growths located within my bowel. After seeing my GP it all happened within weeks, it all seemed so fast yet very professional.
After being diagnosed I was required to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Two weeks before Christmas I commenced my radiation cycle which included trips to radiology every day for 6 weeks and chemotherapy in a tablet form, which included 3 pills, twice a day.
So it’s been a year now since a surgeon at the Alfred Hospital walked into my room and said you can go home we found tumours, Cancer, so we will be in touch. Obviously when I took myself to the hospital emergency room at 1am in an Uber, I did not think this was going to be the result, I probably would have preferred to have someone with me like family, when I was told.
2013, what a year! My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in June and I gave birth to my first child in December.
In 2014 I was quite busy being a first-time mum and calling in on dad and mum regularly. I mentioned to mum that the iron tablets I was taking were making my stools an orange colour, to which mum advised iron should make them black not orange. She suggested that maybe I should stop taking them for a bit and see what happens, which I did.
I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years, have never smoked and have drank very little alcohol – so to get bowel cancer has been such a rude awakening. I feel I no longer have the security of my health and I worry that the cancer could come back at any time…
I first started feeling something was wrong in January 2008. I suffer from many auto immune problems, including Sjogren’s syndrome which causes irritable bowel type symptoms (this threw my GP off the scent and complicated the situation even more).