My name is Sarah I’m now 36 but was diagnosed with bowel cancer back in May 2016 when I was 33.
I am a mother of 4 children my youngest at the time was 2 and my eldest was 6.
One Monday I was having terrible stomach pains my hubby was at work and I went to the doctors; my mum met me there as I was really struggling trying to coordinate 2 toddlers in a waiting room while in so much pain. I saw the doctor and he sent me straight to hospital where they proceeded to do a laparotomy.
They thought it was a gynaecology problem but once in there they realised that everything was healthy there they then called in the bowel surgeons who proceeded to tell me when I came out that I had a bowel infection and that I probably had diverticulitis and needed to change my diet.
For the following 3 weeks I was back and forth from my doctor as I felt like I had a bladder infection! The doctor kept saying it’s the infection pushing on your bladder.
Finally, at the 3 week mark he referred me to a surgeon. Who then suggested I have a colonoscopy. (I’ve had irritable bowel syndrome for years and they have checked every type of bowel issue but never a colonoscopy).
That was the day - I came out of surgery and he gave me the news right away. My hubby came in and I was a mess. I thought that was it! However, I had 4 babies at home that needed me.
I then had all the scans under the sun and yes it had spread! To my bladder and uterus. So I then had surgery to remove the tumour. I had 300ml of my bowel removed I lost my bladder, uterus, 1 ovary and appendix.
I then went through 9 months of chemo and 12 rounds – I was smashed! It made me very ill! I lost 14kgs in a week. However, I made it through the other end. My husband was amazing, I don’t know what I would have done without him!
I then found out it was genetic. I have lynch syndrome. No history of bowel cancer! After having genetic testing done, I have helped a lot of family members find out they to also have Lynch Syndrome!
Please if you show any symptoms of bowel cancer - get yourself checked!