I was 40 years old when I was diagnosed with Stage 3c bowel cancer.

I didn’t have any symptoms (that I noticed) up until a few weeks before, and then it was just abdominal pains and, in the days, preceding a lack of bowel movement. It wasn’t until the pains made sleeping impossible that I went to my GP. They sent me straight to the emergency department as they feared a bowel obstruction.

I had emergency surgery the next morning which removed two thirds of my large intestine, along with the tumour and 48 lymph nodes.

I then had 12 cycles of chemotherapy to make sure there were no more sneaky cancer cells.

I saw an exercise physiologist during treatment and followed their recommendations. I found the information around how exercise can have an effect on chemo side effects and the chance of cancer reoccurrence, very interesting and so important. I would highly recommended that every cancer patient sees an oncology exercise physiologist.

I used meditation to help during my chemo weeks. I also kept a scrapbook type journal during this time as a creative outlet and to document my story.

I am finished treatment and am approaching two years with no signs of the cancer returning.

If something is not normal for you or is worrying you, please see your GP to check. Don’t let your age be used as a tool to rule out bowel cancer.