Life was quite normal, albeit very busy with a young family and a very time consuming career.
Things changed for me one night when I experienced severe stomach pains after eating a chicken sandwich and immediately self-diagnosed myself with "food poisoning." The next morning I was severely sick and started to vomit. At this stage I thought I was getting better as I had got it all out of my system.
My mother passed away with breast cancer when I was 10, so I have always been diligent with screening and looking after my health. I would go to my doctor on a regular basis to make sure everything was all OK.
In February of this year I had been quite tired, had a lot of back and abdominal pain so I went for a check-up with my GP. Blood tests taken read an Hb of 72 so I was called immediately to go to hospital for a blood transfusion. From there I underwent a colonoscopy and gastroscopy to find out where the blood loss was coming from.
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.
Three weeks prior to my diagnosis I had been sent a National Bowel Screen Kit. I looked at it and thought, “I should really do that one day”.
Needless to say, I left the kit on the bench and three weeks later ended up seeing my GP on a Wednesday afternoon for a prescription. At the time I complained of having had a slight pain in my abdomen. The GP asked to examine my abdomen and it was then he felt a mass.
When I was first diagnosed with bowel cancer I did not have enough time to feel ‘sad’ or ‘worry’ too much. I am naturally an optimistic person and an ‘action man’. “I can get through this!” I thought to myself.
Prior to my diagnosis at age 26, I had been experiencing dull pains in my pelvic area for 3 to 4 years, extending up through to my belly button and around to the right side of my body.