I received my bowel cancer kit in the mail for my 50th birthday. I opened it, read about what I had to do, thought yuck ...poo on a stick in the fridge; I’ll do this some other time. And so the kit went into a drawer.... for later.
Two years later at 52 we were moving to a new house and I found the kit and thought ok I better do this. I sent it away, but I got a new kit sent out as they couldn’t test on such an old kit.
I almost put it aside again as I was ‘time poor’ but thankfully just got on with it and sent it again.
I got a letter back say the result was positive and to see my GP.
My GP said you’ll probably be ok, but we’ll refer you for a colonoscopy. I paid to have that done privately as the waiting list at the hospital was over a year long.
After my colonoscopy the doctor saw me in his office and put a picture of the report in front of me and I said, “Ewwww that doesn’t look good,” and he said no it wasn’t.
Now was the start of 2 years of treatment for cancer, originally stage 3 but when my surgeon operated, he found a spot on my liver as well so now stage 4 .
I’ve had 2 liver resections now as a year after the first one another spot was found and last week I’ve just found out at a follow up CT scan that what they thought was another spot was in fact a staple from the last operation (breathe!)
My treatment plan was long... radiation and chemo to shrink the tumour, then bowel surgery with a ileostomy bag for 7 months, then liver resection, then chemo, then reversal of bag and then another liver resection .
I worked when I still could, hiked when I could and rode my bike when I could ; I tried to just get on with it as I could.
Imagine if I hadn’t done that test at 52? I’m 55 now and kicking ass. I would not be here to tell my story if I hadn’t swallowed my pride and put the poo in fridge.