At the age of 33 years old in March 2020 my world came crashing down. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer which had spread to my lungs.
I first noticed bleeding in my stool a few months earlier but hadn’t had time to get to the GP. When I did raise it with my GP I was advised it was most likely some tearing and given a cream to try, and then told to come back within three weeks if the bleeding had not gone away. Meanwhile in this time I had an appointment with my gynaecologist regarding my endometriosis, I mentioned the bleeding again and an internal examination was done. This is when the tumour was found.
From there everything happened very quickly. I was referred to a specialist who did a colonoscopy and our worst fears were confirmed.
Within these first few weeks, my life as I knew it was turned upside down. I went on extended sick leave from my job, I moved back home to my parents’ house so I could have someone to care for me and treatment begun.
I had 25 rounds of radiation therapy, which of course meant that from now on my fertility would be affected. As a 33-year-old single woman with no children, this is still something I am coming to terms with. Luckily due to my endometriosis I had already frozen my eggs when I was 29.
Treatment then continued with three rounds of chemotherapy, followed by an anterior resection operation. Once I recovered from that I then continued with chemotherapy for another nine rounds.
I am happy to say I have one chemotherapy round to go and will then have further scans after that, and hope for some good news!
It’s been a crazy ride so far but one thing I am grateful for is my family and friends and the lessons I have learnt along the way. I never knew how strong I was and I’m so proud of myself!