Just two weeks after my 36th birthday my whole world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer.
I had been experiencing sporadic left sided abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, bloating and frequent diarrhoea which I presumed was endometriosis as I’d suffered with it for the last 11 years.
The pain went on and I knew something wasn’t right, I had a pelvic ultrasound done in October 2022 which showed a lesion on my bowel. I had a colonoscopy in March 2021 which was all clear.
My Gynaecologist suggested further imaging, so I went on to have an MRI and CT scan which showed no suspicious malignancy, which was reassuring.
I was planning to embark on having a baby with donor sperm at some point in the near future. My Gynaecologist suggested we do surgery given I was symptomatic, and we discussed the impact my symptoms would have on being a mother.
On 30th January 2023 I went in for a laparoscopy with removal of endometriosis plus a potential bowel resection.
I woke up to be told they found a suspicious tumour in my bowel, and we had to wait three days for pathology to confirm.
One week in hospital, then home to recover ready for my next major surgery in two-weeks-time. Second surgery was to confirm staging of the cancer, I had a high anterior bowel resection and removal of lymph nodes and unfortunately the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes.
I’m recovering at the moment before I begin my chemotherapy.
I share my story to raise much needed awareness around young bowel cancer.
I have an incredibly positive attitude and I know I can beat this horrible disease just like my big sister Lana did.
Listen to your body, early detection saves lives! Let’s break the taboo with poo 💩
My one piece of advice, listen to your body, always check before you flush 💩 and be vigilant.