I was diagnosed with bowel cancer on 3 December 2021, two days after a colonoscopy. By Monday 6th December I had my ascending colon and associated lymph nodes removed via laparoscopy.
My cancer was in my cecum, and I am so incredibly lucky that it was picked up when the tumour was T2, M0, N0.
I have no family history, had no real symptoms, and was only picked up due to low haemoglobin levels during my yearly blood test which led my doctor to order more tests and refer me to see a surgeon.
I was told my risk was very low given my age as well as the other factors... So thankful for proactive health carers who decided to investigate.
I am currently healing my physical wounds but also sharing with friends and family (and complete strangers) my journey.
Speaking openly about colonoscopies, trying to help ease fear around bowel issues and highlighting that I am 33 (34 in less than a month) with no big factors and I was diagnosed.
It has horrified me to read that those under 50 diagnosed are usually stage 3 or 4 - also makes me so thankful that my cancer was able to be diagnosed and removed before it reached that stage.
Within that thankfulness is also the guilt that I have been so lucky to be diagnosed so early when others aren't so fortunate.