16 August 2016 - The day I was told the news no one ever wants to hear.
Particularly shocking for me, with no bowel cancer history in the family as well as being a 31-year old mum, living an active, happy & healthy life with my loving husband & gorgeous toddler.
The operation a week later following the initial diagnosis was just as much of a shock. 53cm of my bowel removed which landed me in intensive care, weighing just 42kg with yet more devastating news to follow. We discovered we were pregnant with our 2nd child. The moment you are meant to jump for joy & yet we were speechless & with tears of sorrow. We thought to ourselves 'How could our lives be ravelling so out of control within a matter of weeks'. With a diagnosis of stage 3C bowel cancer & a few lymphs affected, I knew we had an extremely heart wrenching decision to make.
I started chemotherapy at the beginning of October, after a speedy 2-week round of IVF with a very successful egg retrieval ensured we could complete our family when the time's right.
Chemotherapy is no easy feat, however, I kept it in my mind that it was the 'good' poison my body needed to rid of any other possible dangers lurking in my body, even though with every session it was depleting my body of anything good!
I would hook up to chemo via my port-a-cath every fortnight for 3-day sessions. Just as I would start to feel somewhat 'normal' the next fortnights chemo session would come knocking on my door.
Counting down the weeks until end of treatment felt like years had gone by. When my final treatment came round I was well & truly over it!
16 March 2017, I was finally given some happy news, CLEAR results & now chemo free. This day marked the start of a new beginning for me.
I’m using my story to highlight the fact that BC can happen to ANYONE: Young, active, healthy diet, non smoker, no family history, ANYONE!!
I believe I was pretty down to earth prior to all of this occurring, however, nothing in my life today is taken for granted. I want to live my best for myself & my family & never look back to those dark days. It's now my turn to do my bit to support & give to others. My husband has kindly agreed to grow a nice itchy beard just in time for summer at my request for this great cause, so close to my heart.