I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC bowel cancer in May 2019, at the age of 33.
I had very few symptoms until I suffered a major bleed and was sent immediately to the emergency department of my local hospital.
I very quickly underwent a bowel resection and then started six months of chemo. The side effects I experienced through the chemo were not too bad, I was mostly just very tired a lot of the time. I also had very low platelets throughout so bruising and bleeding was a problem.
I was lucky enough to keep working on a reduced workload for the duration which kept me distracted and I completed my chemo in November.
While I was lucky to suffer pretty standard symptoms throughout the chemo, I was unfortunately left with very bad peripheral neuropathy after the fact, which has been debilitating. I wasn't mentally prepared for it; despite being told it might occur. So that is my current struggle.
I have had to make lots of adjustments to my expectations of what I can do, but I have a very supportive husband and family so that has been helpful.
My doctors and nurses are also amazing, which makes a world of difference.
My advice to anyone going through this is, to give yourself a break! It's an emotional journey and likely longer than you realise, so you really just have to set realistic expectations.