I was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer and liver metastases at age 32. I was pregnant at the time and unfortunately had to terminate.
My only symptom was extreme pain in my right shoulder. I later found out that it was due to my liver tumours pushing on my diaphragm, which made it painful in my shoulder when I laughed, coughed, breathed deeply etc.
I was told I was inoperable, so I am relying on chemotherapy, which is continuing to work for me.
I have just completed round 22 of chemo and am told I'll be on maintenance chemo forever. Although my most recent scan showed a drastic reduction in liver mets!
I have experienced a range of side effects from my treatment including neuropathy, cold sensitivity, nausea, lack of appetite, weight gain, weight loss. Not to mention mental health, as well as hand foot syndrome.
I've had a massive amount of support from family and friends. But I was so worried about everyone else and how they were coping with my diagnosis.
I aimed to gain weight at the start as I thought I would lose a lot of weight, but I didn't as I was on steroids. Staying hydrated and eating a lot on chemo days before I lose my appetite helps.
I wish at diagnosis I was given more information about fertility preservation for the future. I didn't have a chance to freeze eggs before chemo started. I also wish I had pushed myself to continue exercising more throughout my treatment.
Staying distracted on chemo days helps so much! Online support groups are amazing! I wish I knew at the start that it's ok to let all my emotions out to my support group, as they then have their own support people to turn to.
Staying positive really does make a difference!