In May last year I was at work and started having some serious chest pains. I put it down to stress as I had just moved towns and opened a restaurant two months prior. On my way home I decided to head to emergency to be checked out. This was 11pm on a Thursday night.
They ran a series of tests and said it was pain radiating from gallstones. I could deal with that.
The Friday afternoon when an older more experienced doctor came to see me, he wasn’t happy with some of my blood results so sent me for a CT scan and MRI. Later that night he returned to let me know it was Stage 4 bowel and liver cancer. The BIGGEST shock I had ever had in my life.
I stayed in hospital on a liquid diet for 5 days to be able to have more tests. A PET Scan and colonoscopy. By Monday I had had surgery to install my Portacath and I started chemo the following Monday.
I had zero symptoms or reason to suspect anything was wrong with me. I’ve have had chemo treatments every 2 weeks since then and will continue until June. When there may be the smallest chance of surgery.
I had to shave my head when my hair was falling out. I have terrible pins and needles in my hands and feet. The latest treatment causes a horrible rash on my face, but they are just small symptoms compared to some people.
I have the most incredible support network from family, friends and colleagues.
My most touching moment was the day my staff shaved their heads in support and donated their hair for cancer wigs. I’ve never been more proud of a team and how much they all wanted to support me and my journey.
I’ve been in intensive care twice for an infection and reaction to chemo treatments. And there has definitely been some rough days, but that won’t stop me. I’m still working full time, looking after a property and focusing on healing.
Being able to share my story and answer people questions (who may be scared to ask people closer to them) hopefully helps bring awareness to this horrible cancer.