I was 17 when the diagnosis was made.
I had been experiencing weight loss over a 12 month period (20kgs) and was continually told by a doctor that I was suffering from an eating disorder.
One night I was suffering from severe stomach cramps and went to the emergency department, shortly after I was taken into the operating theatre with the possibility of appendicitis. Once I was on the operating table a large tumour was discovered and removed. I later found out my tumour had been growing for over 18 months.
The removal left me with a perforated bowel and I was later moved to a larger hospital (Nepean) for further surgery. I was accessed at Nepean hospital where the Doctor on duty advised my family the outlook was not good and I would most likely need to be moved to palliative care. The next few days were a blur as I was so sick but luckily for me there was a Professor who reviewed my case and took me under his care. Without the knowledge, love and support of this amazing man I can say I would not be here to tell my story and we are now friends for life.
After multiple bowel resections and operations due to infections and clots a colostomy bag was put in and chemotherapy started. I had a six month course of 5FU which knocked me around, again the love and care from not only my family and friends but the cancer team at Nepean hospital always brought a smile to my face.
After treatment finished I was diagnosed with Secondary liver cancer and went in for another operation. Again my amazing professor worked his magic and successfully reversed my colostomy bag. Fast forward to 2019 and I am now 34 working fulltime and studying a law degree. Whilst I am not undergoing treatment I do have to take medicine every day and have an abdomen of scars that remind me of what I have overcome. Of course some days are better than others but the main thing to hold onto is positivity, if you don’t laugh you cry so better to laugh.
I am forever grateful to everyone who gave me love and care whilst I was at the lowest point of my life. From my mum and family, my wards man Egor to my stoma therapy nurse James, Simon my GP and my nurses from the start Beth and Jacinta in the high dependency unit thank you will never be enough.
I am proof you are never too young.