When I was 40 in October 2014, two months after having my second daughter, I started to feel like something was wrong. I was having stomach pain, shivering and bloating. I lost a lot of weight and was very tired. All things I naturally put down to having recently had a baby.
Over the next three months I found myself in and out of hospital with infections, temperatures and stomach pain meanwhile losing more weight and feeling bloated. I could go all day without eating and had no appetite. I was found to be anaemic and picked up a nasty bug so was on antibiotics for weeks.
It was in January 2015, while going on a walk with my family, that I had extreme stomach pain. I couldn’t walk home. The doctor told me I should go to emergency as it could be my appendix.
I found myself in the colorectal ward and the doctor told me he wanted to do a colonoscopy. I asked him if I should be worried and he said it’s highly unlikely but he just wanted to be sure.
He saved my life because after the procedure, I was told I had a tumour that was bursting through the bowel wall causing the pain.
I had stage 3b cancer and after three days of prepping, I was in surgery for a bowel resection. The cancer had spread to two lymph nodes, but my doctor was confident he got it all.
I had to do 12 rounds of chemotherapy. Chemo was hard and the side effects were awful, but it was worth it because my tests and CT scans have all been clear.
I focused on each week and just getting through it. The first few rounds were the hardest because I didn’t know what to expect.
I had amazing doctors and nurses as well as my family and friends for their support.
I’m so grateful for every day and to be able to raise awareness.