Hello, my name is Camille and I’m a 41-year-old mother of four from South Australia. In July last year I was diagnosed with colon (bowel) cancer after multiple visits to the ED department.
I noticed some blood clots on the toilet tissue. The GP checked for haemorrhoids but found none so asked for blood and faecal tests. They came back normal. We thought it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I began to change my diet to see if that would help. At the same time, she asked me to have a colonoscopy, just to be on the safe side, saying we had to find out what's going on. She didn't pressure me to have it, but my husband did. I procrastinated for a week debating whether this was really necessary.
At 21 years old, I first noticed blood in my stools and sought advice from two different GP’s. They both assured me it was from internal haemorrhoids. At 25 years old, with a one-year-old baby boy, I had significant bleeding and other symptoms I could no longer ignore and demanded that my GP refer me to a gastroenterologist.
I was 38 years old when I was diagnosed with stage 3B bowel cancer. I started losing my hair, so I went to the doctor to check if everything was ok. I was extremely iron deficient, so the doctor suggested I start taking iron tablets. The doctor also suggested I increase my red meat intake, which I did to 3 times per week.