It was 2012, life was good. At 43, we had great friends, my wife and I were both working full time and our three children (at the time 14,12 and 7) were extremely busy with their after school sports activities.
Let’s just say we were very busy!
I went to the GP as I had a painful ache in my ear that wasn’t going away and was feeling tired. I had been diagnosed with coeliac disease in 1999 and I only went to the Doctor for medication for Reflux. I was otherwise healthy - or so I thought.
That day I saw a GP who to this day I believe saved my life. He explained to me after looking in my ear that he couldn’t see anything wrong with my ear so he decided to do a full blood screening.
On receiving a call from the Doctor's office to come in urgently for results I was a little worried. My blood results showed elevated white cells so further testing followed.
After the colonoscopy it was confirmed there was a tumor in the bowel and I needed surgery. Within a week I was operated on. Being told that you have Stage 3 bowel cancer was tough.
Cancer was not a new word in our house. My father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, my wife Jo’s mother had ovarian cancer and she had lost her father to Non Hodgkins lymphoma. We knew what was coming next.
We met with the Oncologist and his team and we prepared for 6 months of Chemotherapy. I have to say that this was very tough. I was hospitalised due to infection, which then delayed treatment, but I got through it.
Today, seven years later, I have a few issues from having so much bowel removed and ongoing effects of the Chemotherapy, but I am alive and that’s all that really matters. Remember to make memories and take photos. Life is what you make it!