You’re 26 years old.
You have a fulfilling career.
You’ve just met the man of your dreams.
You’re basically just living your best life.
Only to awaken from a routine colonoscopy to be told “big tumour not good” and have your whole world shatter around you.
My past four years have consisted of 35cm of my bowel, the right side of my liver and my gallbladder being removed. 19 rounds of intravenous chemotherapy, six months of oral chemotherapy and three months of continuous chemotherapy. Copious amounts of blood tests, hospital stays, colonoscopies and scans.
Through everything I have endured however, I can honestly say I’m one of the lucky ones, being just shy of two years of remission.
Bowel cancer is non-discriminatory, it doesn’t matter if you’re “too young” for the horrible “old person's cancer.” Unfortunately, the truth is no one is ever too young. I had no symptoms. I still shudder to think that if it wasn’t for a friend of mine being diagnosed with bowel cancer at 28, there is an extremely high chance I wouldn’t be here today.
You can’t have the mentality that it won’t happen to you, as you never know what life can throw your way. The chemo ward was the last place I thought I would have spent my 27th birthday.
If there was ever a message I could share, it would be early detection is key. There is always hope and through the fight of my life I found strength I never wanted to muster at such a tender age, but I did and I won.