My story and journey started in June 2016 when diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer that spread to the lymph nodes in my pelvis, with secondary metastasis within my liver. I felt at first an emotional numbness, followed by fear and a list of what ifs!
On April 30 2019 I went for a colonoscopy and knew it wasn’t good news straight away, we were sent for CT and MRI scans immediately after being discharged. On May 2 I was meeting my colorectal surgeon and was told I had Stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread to my liver. It was a complete shock for me and my family.
I have suffered from constipation periodically, ever since I was young, so I did not regard it as unusual. My father died of cancer in 1995 in the UK. He told me a few years earlier he had had some polyps removed but he had played down the seriousness of his condition when I spoke to him on the phone. I now know he eventually had open abdominal surgery but still not much more information than that. I had assumed his cancer started in his lungs because he was a pipe smoker.
No one ever told me he had bowel cancer – in the mid nineties I had never even heard of bowel cancer. I knew that my mother had Crohn's disease. When I had constipation, I thought I might have Crohn's too and believed there was no treatment to cure this apart from surgery so didn’t want a diagnosis.
In June 2015, my brother Andrew was treated for diverticulitis (with antibiotics), a condition where pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine become infected or inflamed. A few years prior, he was hospitalised for over a week with similar symptoms, these included severe pain in the abdomen.
My beloved brother Rob was diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 bowel cancer in October 2017, just before his 44th birthday. His was diagnosed with the disease after having an unusual pain in his abdomen, which led to urgent CT scans. Rob had surgery and chemotherapy, and sadly lost his life in June 2018, 8 months after diagnosis.
With symptoms including blood and blood clots in my stool, fatigue, nausea, light jaundice and abdominal pain, I visited the emergency room in August 2018 and had to wait for nearly 7 hours. I was turned away.
I just wanted to share my story with you and anyone who would be interested to not only raise awareness, but to show that people can get through the worst of things and there is always a positive side to things.
Inspired by friends who were training for a marathon and wanting to fulfil a long-held ambition, Jess and her husband Dean signed up for the Sydney Blackmores Half Marathon in support of Bowel Cancer Australia.
This year has been a challenge, nearly 12 months ago, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. This was honestly the scariest moment of my life, I was told that if I didn't do something straight away, I would not live to see Xmas 2018.
Hello, my name is Camille and I’m a 41-year-old mother of four from South Australia. In July last year I was diagnosed with colon (bowel) cancer after multiple visits to the ED department.