Almost two years ago, I began experiencing blood in my stool and unexplained weight loss. My 35-year-old cousin had been diagnosed with bowel cancer and so I was referred for a colonoscopy.

My world was completely turned upside down when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer - work stresses became insignificant, future to move overseas with my partner had to be put on hold and my health became my number one priority.

After some additional testing it was determined that I needed to have a major bowel resection to remove the cancer. Thankfully with the expert skills of my surgeon, all cancer was removed during the surgery and no further treatment was required.

Following that I had over 2 months off work to recover.

In the last week, I have had my first follow up colonoscopy since the diagnosis and this has confirmed I am still cancer free and will not need to have another follow up procedure for 5 years which is the best outcome possible.

This experience, coupled with COVID-19 has taught me a few things: 

  1. Life is too short to not be making the most of this incredible life we have been gifted with...YOLO!
  2. Our health should be our number 1 priority because without it we have nothing! 
  3. Cancer and other diseases do not discriminate...if you do not feel right then follow it up with your GP and keep following it up until you get an answer. 
  4. With regards to bowel cancer specifically, if you do notice changes in your bowels then follow it up with your GP and request a colonoscopy. As we are learning, bowel cancer is impacting people of ALL ages, not just people over the age of 50. 
  5. Treasure your loved ones and the support network around you. My partner and the special family and friends I have in my life really have gotten me through the tough times and I can honestly say I have never been happier.