I was diagnosed in 2016, after I had a small bleed. The Dr. initially thought I had eaten something sharp and told me not to worry. I had a precautionary colonoscopy two months later - Gee I am glad I did! It was already stage 3.
I was immediately put on chemo and radiation to try and shrink the cancer before they surgically removed it. I was given an ileostomy for 8 months and more chemo to try and prevent it spreading. The ileostomy was reversed and I was cancer free for 12 months.
Unfortunately, the cancer spread to my right lung and then to my left lung which meant several more surgeries in 2018.
At my most recent scan, I was given the all clear again. But now it is stage 4, I think we will always live in fear of it returning.
The biggest challenge after my diagnosis has been the struggle to maintain a ‘normal’ lifestyle. During the early treatment I managed to work full time and continue my Crossfit training, but I am now unable to do either. I have limitations where I didn’t before.
The one piece of advice I would give to anyone would be: Get it checked out! I was extremely fit, ate clean healthy foods and was (in my understanding) way too young! I am lucky the Dr. was wise enough to request a colonoscopy even when he wasn’t too concerned.