Hi, I’m Jess.
I’m 37 and was diagnosed with stage 3b bowel cancer on 15/08/2022.
My journey started in July 2022 when I was experiencing heart palpitations, light headedness and feeling breathless. I went to visit my GP, who ordered urgent bloods. The next day I returned to my GP where I was told I had low iron and low Hb. After a thorough discussion and due to being a difficult cannulation I was sent to the emergency department.
My mum came and picked me up and off we went to the ED. I was asked lots of questions about my bowel habits and to be honest there was no change. I was given an iron infusion and referred to have a colonoscopy.
While waiting for my colonoscopy, I went back to my GP to discuss everything and was referred for a CT scan. I had my CT which showed no abnormalities.
Two weeks later, on 15/08/2022, I had my colonoscopy. I woke up to the news that I had bowel cancer. Adenocarcinoma and I needed to have a staging scan. All this was organised and I was referred to a gastroenterologist for surgery.
Approximately a week later, I met with my surgeon where I was told I had a lesion in my breast and two on my liver. I was also booked in to have an urgent bowel resection. Thankfully after further testing the other lesions came back benign.
On 31/08/2022, I underwent a sub-total colectomy, which took around 6 hours. I spent a week in hospital and was discharged to recover at home.
Approximately 6 weeks later, I met with my oncologist where a plan of action was made. I was told I would undergo 12 rounds of chemo and I had also opted to have an infusaport inserted. During chemotherapy I had a few complications and my mental health suffered significantly. I managed 8 rounds of chemo and decided to stop. Thankfully in April 2023 I had my follow up, where I am pleased to say I was told there was no evidence of disease.
I will be forever grateful for my GP, surgeon, oncologist, nurses and more importantly my family. Especially my partner who was my rock throughout this whole journey.