I finally found a GP (GP #6) who wasn't dismissive of my symptoms (I very rarely visited a doctor!) and after an eight month wait on the colonoscopy wait list, cancer still wasn't exactly something I had thought twice about because...I'm still too young, right?!?!
By mid-January 2019 I was given a stoma. Imagine that. Two weeks after your 39th birthday, waking up with a colostomy...because I was too young for bowel cancer, that five out of six doctors dismissed me, to the extent the tumour was that big.
Early February I underwent 25 rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
Early May I had the surgery that saved my life.
I'm still recovering but recovering well.
I start another six months of chemotherapy in a couple of weeks.
My life is forever changed.
My daughter's lives are forever changed.
If the first GP had listened my life would be very different.
I feel lucky that my current GP is tenacious and listens! There are many men and women who weren't so lucky and it's for them that we, as a community, need to do whatever we can to shift the focus off of cancer discriminating against age.
Never too young!!
Bowel Cancer... You're Never Too Young
Launched in 2014, Bowel Cancer Australia’s ‘Bowel Cancer... You're Never Too Young’ initiative was created to provide bowel cancer resources uniquely designed for younger people.
Offering practical and emotional support for the growing number of young people affected by bowel cancer (and their loved ones), championing what matters most to people living with or beyond young-onset bowel cancer, while challenging perceptions through dynamic campaigning that raises awareness and motivates action in all young Australians.
A highlight of the initiative is Never Too Young Awareness Week - a dedicated week during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month that highlights the unique challenges faced by people who are living with or beyond young-onset bowel cancer.
For further details and to become a #Never2Young Champion head to nevertooyoung.org.au