"I am sorry, we found cancer"... life turned into a whirlwind from there!
In June 2021, I was set to return to work after having time off for maternity leave. I had minimal symptoms (fatigue and some bleeding over a few weeks), of which both my GP and I had put down to having two little children and having children. Thankfully we followed up anyway.
I was 35 years old, with a loving husband and two children (4-year-old and 18-month-old), when I was diagnosed with Stage 3C bowel cancer.
From colonoscopy to surgery to remove 25 cm of my bowel, it was less than 24 hours. I had PET and CT scans, and so many blood tests. It was a very scary and emotional time, especially as my youngest child hadn't lefty side since she was born.
I have undertaken six months of chemotherapy since then and have recently had my first post- check-up which showed the ‘all clear’.
Chemotherapy with two little people is hard work. The side effects can be gruelling and if it was not for my parents, family and husband sharing the load it would have been so much harder.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think would be coming to terms with the possibility of my own mortality but here I am now on the other side and although side effects such as neuropathy maybe lifelong for me, I am here to watch my children grow and my family flourish.
I will be forever grateful to my specialist team and all of those who have helped me through.
Please don't ignore symptoms. Please follow your gut. Life is important. You are important.