I had been working hard to get fit, as soon I was to be celebrating my second 21st and turning 42 years young.
I had thought it may have been the bullet coffees I was consuming that caused the mucus in my stool.
Being on a fitness kick and considerate of my new health journey, I took myself off to the GP to have a chat. Unsure what was going on, she said let's investigate, and referred me to go and have a colonoscopy.
I remember waking up, Beck, my wife was sitting next to me, and thinking this seemed strange. The doctor walked over and proceeded to inform me that I had a tumour in my rectum.
The results came back, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.
Treatment was to be radiation and chemotherapy, followed up with surgery to remove my rectum. I breezed through chemo and radio, however, the surgery knocked me for six.
After seven hours in the theatre, I woke up with an ileostomy bag. I hated that thing. Fortunately, I was able to have it reversed, and requested that it be done as soon as possible as it was messing with my head.
The reversal resulted in having to re-establish my gut health, and many many stays in hospital with multiple bowel obstructions over the course of two years.
Today I'm fortunate to have found a new normal and am very grateful to my GP for sending me off to have a colonoscopy.
I'm now living proof it's treatable and beatable if detected early.