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.
At that point, I said let´s go for the surgery. We did this at the Wesley on 15th of December 2017. I had the best colorectal surgeon and I had half my bowel removed. We thought we had it all, but my surgeon, being a perfectionist, did all the pathology. On the 22nd of December 2017, he rang me and said it wasn’t all good news.
“We found cancer in your lymph and lymph nodes, you need an oncologist,” he said.
I saw one that night.
I will be honest, I fell in a heap and cried, but with the support of my wife and family I decided I would win this battle.
There were no options. We said, “Chemo it is,” and on the 10th of January 2018 I started.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to stop work over the next 6 months. This ride has not been easy, but with my support group and family and friends, we took the bull by the horns. 13 treatments with a 4-day visit to hospital every fortnight due to a nasty reaction to chemo, I ended up with heart issues....
Around this time, I was terminated from my employer and this ended up being a good thing as I was able to concentrate on my health.
This ride has not been easy, but with my support group, family, and friends, we dealt with the problem directly. As the end of august 2018 all, the signs were positive things were looking good. I did have a couple off issues like some of my blood and things were low but all on the way up.
In this time, I have had three colonoscopies each have had more adenoma removed this is something that scares me each time and I will be having them regularly.
Still nearly 2 years on I am still improving my Ca levels are still low, but on the way up having had a fractured ankle this year has slowed me down and the weight has gone up a little. This will change my diet is better and still have so much support.
While I have this chance, I would like to thank the cancer nurses at both the Wesley and the north west private hospital because without them this victory would not be possible. I also need to thank the awesome Dr’s I have had especially my colorectal surgeon he has been amazing and is always there with some good humour.
So far, I have had no visible signs or symptoms of cancer and all tests have come back negative. My journey doesn't stop here; I have plenty of follow up scans over the next several months to ensure this doesn't return.
For me, this is not just about saying I beat cancer, this is about bringing about awareness. The only symptom that showed up for me was my iron levels were low. Every test was negative until the colonoscopy. Please get yourself checked.