Shortly after my 30th birthday and after eight months of symptoms (with my fourth child only 8 months) I finally had my endoscopy and colonoscopy and was woken up in the surgical hallway to be told ‘we found a cancerous tumour’, it was too big for the cameras to fit through.
I had major surgery and was informed I had Stage 3b bowel cancer. Six months of ‘mop up’ chemotherapy followed.
I was fortunate to surprise my medical team with a miracle pregnancy. When my baby was eight months old, I got the devastating news my cancer was back and had spread to three places now and that I am Stage 4 and ‘incurable (at age 32)’.
I am currently back on a stronger chemotherapy and praying we can find the right combination of chemo to help me make memories with my five young babies!
There is no bowel cancer in my family history and when my symptoms started, I was told I likely had Chrons Disease as I was at the right age for the onset of that.
I hope my story helps others to make the choice to see their GP if they have symptoms instead of putting it off.
I also hope the negative stigmas of colonoscopies become a thing of a past because if I/my medical team hadn’t pushed for mine I probably wouldn’t still be here.
Colonoscopies can save lives and should not be a taboo subject.
Bowel cancer can be curable if caught early, which is something I have learnt and try to spread the knowledge of. I hope something can be done for the horrendous colonoscopy wait time in the public system or for there to be a better rebate for private ones!