My journey started on my 29th birthday, August 21st, 2019, with a visit to emergency with lower abdominal pain.
After a few tests and scans it was discovered that I had a perforated bowel. After a solid 2 months in and out of hospital, my Colorectal team decided to operate to re-sect my bowel.
I endured quite a big operation. They cut out 20cm of my bowel, with one big incision across my abdomen and 6 key holes. I was able to get up and walk on my own within a few days.
My recovery was quite good, until my day of discharge. It was when I was about to leave hospital to return to normal life that they told me, “Kristian, we have tested your specimen and found cancer.”
It was in that exact moment my life changed in a blink of an eye. After several scans and appointments with oncology it was determined that what they removed was in fact an aggressive form of bowel cancer and out of the 17 lymph nodes removed from my bowel, 12 were cancerous.
A body scan soon revealed that the cancer had metastasized to the liver. I was then classed as having Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer. This hit my family and I like a tonne of bricks, but there was no time to dwell- I had to start chemotherapy as soon as possible.
My first round of chemotherapy consisted of 6 rounds, once a fortnight for 4 hours.
My side effects from chemo were mild and I was able to maintain a positive mindset throughout. My PET scan after my first full round of chemo showed that the lesions on my liver had shrunk but given my age and the severity of my cancer, the oncology team advised I endure another 6 rounds of chemotherapy.
The second round proved to be quite challenging, with symptoms lasting a little longer than usual but the show must go on! Today I write this after completing my second round of chemotherapy and I am due to see my oncology team within the next few weeks to find out what is next.
Fingers crossed it is all good news.