Hi there, I’m Gem. I’m 31, and until August 2017 considered myself fit and healthy (or at least working on it at the gym and boot camp and generally doing the right thing).
My world got turned upside down last year when I was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancer. The technical terms on top of my forms, Stage IV Metastatic Colorectal Cancer – that is cancer that has spread to other organs. Goodness I went into hospital with gallstone pain…. And came out with cancer. At 30 years of age you don’t expect that bombshell when waking up from surgery to remove your gall bladder.
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.