My cancer story unfortunately began just a few days after my 29th birthday. There were no major symptoms or follow up leading to my diagnoses. It came as a complete shock. What happened was I ended up in ED due to becoming very sick and constipated. I hadn’t been able to go to the bathroom in a few days which was highly unusual for me. I had tried laxatives, but they only ended up making me very ill. So once in hospital they had tried a few things to make me go but nothing worked. So a CT scan was ordered. Unfortunately, that scan found what I never thought would happen. Cancer.
I had a full obstruction in my bowel which ended up being a bowel cancer tumour. I had emergency surgery to remove the tumour as well as a large portion of my bowel (about 47cm). I was fortunate to not need a stoma bag. However during surgery, they had found spread to the peritoneal cavity.
So that put my diagnoses at Stage 4. I started 12 rounds of chemo called Folfox in January and it ended up working really well for me. It had shrunk all spots of cancer down so that nothing was seen on any scans and my blood results were looking very good. So in August 2022 I was given all clear to stop treatment. I returned to work and was now going to have a check-up in 6 months.
Unfortunately, I had felt a weird pressure down near my bladder and went to my GP with concerns. An ultrasound was ordered, and my fears had come true. The cancer had grown back on my right ovary. So after a short couple months break I was back onto chemotherapy again in Dec 2022. This time a drug mix called FolFiri.
Scans revealed that the cancer had spread again and so I was to continue having chemotherapy to help shrink it again. Unfortunately, this line of chemotherapy was not as successful in shrinking the cancer but kept it stable.
The next step was to remove the tumour on my ovary as that was continuing to grow. So in May 2023 I had both of my ovaries removed as well as the tumour. With another break in between chemotherapy, I have had more spread through my body. The spread is only millimetres but still worrying. I am back onto Folfox treatment and will be including an Immunotherapy drug this time around.
I have completed 1 round and unfortunately ended up in hospital with a liver blockage. I have since had a stent put in to help the liver drain properly and will be continuing the chemotherapy treatments as planned.
It has been a very full-on journey so far with plenty more to go!
The advice I would give is really pay attention to your body. It can be the tiniest of symptoms but if it’s anything out of the ordinary don’t be afraid to speak to your doctors.
And don’t let the doctor dismiss any worries you have either. Cancer does not discriminate. It definitely is not an old person’s disease. Unfortunately, more young people are being diagnosed everyday :(