Six years ago at 64, I began to notice blood in my stool and reported it straight away to my GP, who referred me to a colorectal surgeon. A colonoscopy revealed cancer and an operation was recommended as my best option. I’d estimate that from the moment I noticed the blood to finally being operated on took no more than six weeks, which isn’t very long to come to terms with the fact of bowel cancer. I was given an ileostomy during surgery, which also took some getting used to.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer December 2013.
Initially I had been feeling a little tired, which wasn’t normal for me but I didn’t think anything of it. It was only that I start to lose weight for no reason and thought I could feel a lump in my stomach that I decided to see my GP.
I asked to have bloods done and told her I could feel a lump; however the GP said she couldn’t feel anything but agreed to do a set of bloods in case my iron was low.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 58 years old.
I’d had dull stomach pain and occasional bleeding for several months but it wasn’t until I saw a lot of blood in the toilet that I booked an appointment with my GP. He sent me for a colonoscopy and I was referred to a surgeon within a week.
I was very shocked when I was told I had cancer, but I tried to remain positive throughout my treatment and I really think that helped me cope.
Over Christmas 2007, I was incredibly sick with what I thought was food poisoning until the sickness quickly turned into severe pain. I decided go to my local hospital in Macksville, where I was admitted for two days and given a colonoscopy to investigate the abdominal pain. The diagnosis was bowel cancer and 10 days later I had surgery. I had 55cm of bowel and 17 lymph nodes removed and fortunately only four nodes were cancerous. I now have a secondary tumour between my bladder and rectum, which we hope will respond to the chemotherapy I’m undergoing.