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In November 2021, at the age of 40, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer after I noticed a lump on the side of my neck. I was not overly concerned but my wife who is a nurse, urged me to have it investigated.
 
After five whirlwind days of blood tests, scans and biopsies my doctor announced that I had metastatic bowel cancer. Not only was the cancer in my bowel but it had spread to my liver and through my lymphatic system on my left side.
 
You could have knocked me over with a feather – it was a pretty tough day.
 
Cancer was never on my radar; I have minimal family history and have luckily been healthy all of my life. A cancer diagnosis was a huge shock for me and my family. My life changed forever.
 
Nothing was as tough as telling my children 12, 10 and 7 that I had cancer. Initially there were tears, and hugs however once the realisation hit, I just wanted to get on with the process and my family have been incredibly positive and supportive.
 
As the cancer had spread so extensively, surgery was not an option and I have just finished my initial 10 doses of palliative chemo - palliative because they are not expecting me to beat the disease.
 
I am not pessimistic about the outcomes, it’s just an adjustment of thinking. One minute I’m thinking about life in 10 years’ time when the kids have finished school and then I am jolted back thinking I may not see 10 years’ time.
 
Despite the pessimism of the medical profession, I am still positive about beating the disease through the support of family and friends and hopefully further advances in treatment. I’m not giving up but am aware that my life trajectory has changed forever.
 
To put in bluntly my chances of cure 10 years ago would have been slim and my outlook very uncertain. Whilst there are still no guarantees, new drugs and treatment methods have given me hope of remission and many more years with my family.
 
Since my bowel cancer journey began, I have been shocked at the number of young people like myself who are diagnosed with this disease and that bowel cancer is Australia’s deadliest cancer for people aged 25-44. A disease that is largely preventable.
 
I am thankful for research and the rapid improvements in treatment over the past 10 years.

Critical research into young-onset bowel cancer is vital to ensure others like myself have improved outcomes and can see a life without bowel cancer.
 
Bowel Cancer Australia need your help to raise much-needed funds for young-onset bowel cancer research and build a path toward a cure.
 
Please donate this June.
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Proudly 100% community funded, Bowel Cancer Australia relies solely on donations and bequests.
 
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Bowel Cancer Australia this June. Without your help, our work would simply not be possible.
 

Ways your donation can help us continue to support bowel cancer patients and their loved ones