I used to think cancer was the worst thing that had ever happened to me until it became the best thing. This might sound crazy but it is true.
I am a wife and mother to a now 6 year old son. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2011 at the age of 41. I had been suffering from exhaustion, stomach pain and unusual bowel habits for three or four months and finally saw my GP when the pain started getting much worse.
During the colonoscopy I had a 3cm polyp removed which a week later I was told was cancerous and that I would need to be referred to a Colorectal surgeon. During my colonoscopy and the removal of the polyp my bowel was perforated, which no one seemed to realize until a week later, I became to get really unwell and was admitted to hospital and required 30cm of my bowel to be removed. It all happened so fast, like it was almost not real.
I successfully beat prostate cancer in 2007 so being diagnosed with bowel cancer so soon after came as a real shock.
I did the Rotary bowel cancer test (FOBT) in March 2009 and the results were negative. But later that year, my bowel habits began to change – mainly increased urgency and frequency – and when I twice noticed blood in my stools I decided to take the FOBT again. This time the results were positive.
I was overseas when the results came through in April 2010 so I talked to my GP in Australia over the phone and he recommended that I see a GP in England as soon as possible.
I was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer in September 2011 after seeing my GP about a very small amount of blood being present on my toilet paper. **
The GP asked me to get a home testing kit from the chemist, conduct the test and return it to him. The test showed it was a positive result so I was referred to another doctor to conduct a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy took place on September 26 and the results showed two tumours in my large bowel. I was booked in for a CT scan the next day. After the scan my doctor told me I had two primary cancer cells in my large bowel.