2020 was the year of my bowel cancer diagnosis!
I'm still living with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2022!
Stage 3 with 6 months of chemotherapy after emergency surgery for a bowel resection.
In 2020 I turned 39, my son turned 9 my daughter turned 5 and as a world we started the covid journey. My husband and I decided to sell our home to build a new dream home and we had just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.
I was working full time as a foster care manager with 20 staff and was so in love with my life!
I'm a social worker by trade. I love helping others achieve their goals! I was the fittest I had ever been - running up to 5km a day and eating clean.
October 2020 came with a trip to ED for horrible pain and they removed my gallbladder though keyhole surgery, after having gallbladder issues since March 2020. (I was waiting on a public list for a gallbladder removal).
2 weeks at home and I still didn't feel right in my stomach- back to ED and the scan revealed something in my bowel and inflamed lymph nodes. They said I was constipated.
Off home again after some IV antibiotics and a referral for a colonoscopy. (Public system again and I had a phone call for the colonoscopy in March 2021, a little too late!)
November 2020 I woke up in excruciating pain after a busy day at work and mum life. My husband took me to ED again. I thought I had a burst ovary. Nope!
Surgery a few days later revealed cancer of the bowel. Stage 3, 27 lymph nodes taken and 7 had cancer.
I had a bowel resection via keyhole. They said the excruciating pain was the cancer perforating the bowel wall.
I started chemo on the 17th of December 2020, round 1.
I managed ok, working, mum life and trying to get back to some kind of normal.
Then, in February 2021 came round 4 of chemo and I had bad chest pain. Another trip with the Hubby to the ED and they did a chest x ray and contacted my oncologist.
Fast forward a few weeks, chemo stopped and CT scan. The bowel cancer has spread to my chest and abdomen lymph nodes.
I was re- diagnosed to Stage 4.
I was told I had a common 1 in 10 gene mutation of the cancer. Our world grew smaller again.
My awesome oncologist told me about a clinical trial (Breakwater) for BRAF mutation v600e.
We met with the trial team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and I have been working with this team since April 2021.
We are smashing goals with the fortnightly chemo and daily BRAFTOVI tablets and I am now considered stable!
Our world grew bigger again.
I'm looking forward to 2022 and being stable. My goal would be to be cancer free and go back to the life I Ioved so much. It would be amazing to have our whole world back again!
2022 my son will turn 11 and my daughter 7 and we will have been married for 13years!
We have been living in our dream home for 5 months. The clinical trial team have given me many more years of life and I am forever thankful.
That's a little of my bowel cancer story and it's only a small part of my life story!
My husband Shane did Dry July in support of Bowel Cancer Australia and to help other families in this situation. We both feel it's important to raise awareness for bowel cancer, to share the word that you are never too young and it’s not just an older person’s disease.