Towards the end of 2013 I had a pain deep within my bowel only three times, each lasting about 15 minutes. I considered the pain to be quite intense and thought it was hemorrhoids back again as I have two children and had experienced hemorrhoids previously.
I was given a referral from a GP to speak to a surgeon who was 98% sure it was Levator Ani Syndrome causing the bowel to spasm - but recommended a colonoscopy just in case.
At least three years before I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, I went to the doctor with a bloated stomach and increased bowel motions however the doctor didn't really look into it.
A year or so later I went to emergency with excruciating pain, blood and mucus. I was given morphine and sent home. I continued to experience pain, blood and mucus and passing bowel motions up to 10 times a day.
My husband performed his BowelScreen test in April 2013 and the results came back two weeks later informing him he had a positive result.
Our GP organised for my husband to see a specialist and he was referred for a colonoscopy in May, which located a bowel tumour immediately.
We were initially told it was a low grade stage III cancer of the bowel. After six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy it was considered a stage II bowel cancer.
March 1988: I was 1st diagnosed with a Soft Tissue Tumor called (Rhabdomysarcoma) in my right jaw, I had the tumor removed at Prince Of Wales Children’s Hospital and immediately underwent Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. My doctor Professor Vowels told my parents I had a 60-40 chance of survival and was told if the tumor was going to come back it would do so roughly in about 3-4 years…
Funnily enough exactly to the date in Jan 1992 the tumor re-appeared in the same area as the 1st tumor only this time I had a 90-10 survival chance.
I have had three Melanomas over the last 30 years so getting bowel cancer was not that big a surprise to me, I always felt something else would happen.
After participating in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and not receiving any letter or notification to say they had received my test, I called the department to see what my results showed. I was informed the test was never received, so I requested another kit and went through the process over again.