I was diagnosed with stage 2b bowel cancer in August 2017 at the age of 39....
During the past few years of my life I always experienced fatigued, stomach upsets and cramping. When I was in my late 20's all my blood tests would show up that I had Coeliac Disease and every time I experience any symptoms I would just put it down to Coeliac Disease. That I either drank or ate something that had gluten in it, that would cause the upset stomachs and pain, it became my "Normal"....
I was diagnosed with Stage 2b bowel cancer in August 2017, when I went to my doctor feeling extremely tired and seeing blood when I would go to the bathroom. For me I thought this was normal, as I had been previously told I could have Celiac disease and summed it up to being Celiac and I had eaten something with gluten.
In 2010, I was 19 and planning my wedding. Unlike most brides-to-be, I was also in and out of the GP’s office fighting with her to take my bowel issues seriously and undergoing a series of tests.
I was extremely anaemic and required weekly infusions over 12 weeks, in the lead up to my wedding.
When a FOBT confirmed positive for blood in my stools, my GP still kept telling me “you are too young for bowel cancer” and that it was a waste of her time to pursue testing further because she was confident it would come back negative.
Looking back through my Facebook timeline I found a joke between a friend and me about constipation and squatting while pooping. In hindsight, this was most likely my first symptom of bowel cancer. That post was in June 2016 just before my 39th birthday. I was a busy single mum, working full time as a bookkeeper and volunteering as treasurer on the P&C of the kids’ school. On the off weeks when I didn’t have my 3 girls, I was dating and socialising with friends. Life was busy but fun and full of laughs.