In April the severe pain came back again. This time I saw a different GP who ordered x-rays and blood tests. The blood test showed I was anaemic so the GP ordered further tests which confirmed anaemia. A faecal Occult Blood Test also confirmed blood in my stools, which I had never visibly seen myself.
My GP referred me to a specialist for a colonoscopy which I had in June 2013. Deep down I knew bowel cancer was a possibility but it was still a shock to be told this news.
A week later I had surgery to re-sect my bowel, followed by six months of chemo, which was hard work. The fatigue was the worst but I also had pins and needles and nausea plus other side effects. A follow-up scan showed a single spot on my lung. I went to Sydney to be seen by a cardiothoracic surgeon who performed my surgery (a wedge re-section to my lung) in July 2014. I then had another round of chemo which lasted till Jan 2015.
Unfortunately I developed a blood clot in a large vein near my heart, which required me to go back to hospital for treatment. Although it's under control now I feel like it has slowed my recovery down a bit but I'm getting there.
Thankfully my follow up CT and colonoscopy have been all clear.
On a side note, I managed to play one final game of rugby league last Saturday. It was a great day. The whole club clapped me onto the field. Was good to play just one more game so I could finish playing footy on my terms because I chose to, not because cancer made me!