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Joanne L's Kick Ass Story

The year 2012 I turned 40 and I thought the year was going to be one of my best years. I have two beautiful daughters who at the time were 4 years and 2 1/2 years old. I started feeling very tired every day. I just put it down to having young children and being a busy mum/wife. I had low iron for many years too so I thought it must have been that as well.

One day I notice blood on my pants but in the next two days it went away. Soon I started having gas and felt pressure to go to the toilet a lot and saw blood in the stool.

After a week I thought something just wasn’t right . I went to my GP and he thought it was haemorrhoids.

I got a blood test and my iron was still low so he sent me off to see a specialist.

Colonoscopy booked in and found out that I had stage 3 bowel cancer.

First thought was I’ll never see my girls grow up ... but my body went into fighting mode. I had to fight this for my girls!! We found that 26 lymph nodes were cancerous too.

Key hole surgery and 6 months chemotherapy. 6 months later cancer had spread to my peritoneal area.

Once again I had to fight but fight even harder now. I had major surgery and ended up with a temporary ileostomy/colostomy bag. It was the most frightening thing to see at first but I adapted to having it within weeks.

Another 6 months chemotherapy - this time oral.

10 months later, I had ileostomy reversed.

Today I am 6 years cancer free.

My body will never be the same but I’m still here and kicked cancer's ass.

I think back to the years were I was always feeling sick in my tummy and tired and now know that it was the cancer which I had growing inside me for 5 years.

Share your Kick Ass Story

In celebration of International Women’s Day each year, Bowel Cancer Australia raises awareness of bowel cancer in women and shares empowering stories from Aussie women who are kicking bowel cancer’s ass.

Are you a kick ass woman living with or beyond bowel cancer, or do you have a female family member or friend that is?

We’re seeking female volunteers of all ages to share their experiences to help raise awareness of bowel cancer in women as part of our annual Kick Ass: Bowel Cancer In Women initiative in March.

Share your own story and help us kick bowel cancer’s ass.

Simply send us an email to register your interest.