Hi I’m Lauren, a 38 year old with two beautiful children ages 3 & 5 years old. My story started 3 months ago on the 12th October 2022 by feeling not quite right. I went to my GP and was told I was depressed and had gastro. After weeks I still was not right so I went back and asked for full bloods to be done.

I googled a lot and came up with I might be anaemic, as that matched all my symptoms

Blood tests revealed yes, I was severely anaemic and a few other issues too. GP said go straight to the ED and they can investigate further.

I was messed around essentially. Why are you here? GP should have sent you for tests but not to the ED. I waited 10 hours and finally I was offered a choice. You can have a CT but the wait is hours or you can return to your GP and book tests. I chose to wait and 15 minutes later I was having the scan. 10 minutes after that a very official looking Dr called me and led me to a private room. He asked if I wanted someone with me. I said no just tell me what’s going on!!! He answered I’m afraid you have a large tumour in your bowel and it’s cancer!!!!

From there I was transported to another hospital and put on a million antibiotics, iron infusions, a liquid diet, a million people standing at the end of my bed telling me I have stage 4 bowel cancer that has spread to my liver and we can’t operate as the tumour is too big.  It measured 11cm and 5cm in the liver. We are going to start you on chemotherapy within the week and we will do a biopsy more CT scans and bloods.

Wow. What a ride! At first I cried. I couldn’t speak or focus. What about my kids? They are too young, my partner, my family, this is not real.  But it was and I am now 6 rounds into my chemotherapy and each round gets harder and my good days shorter. I have my 3mth scan at the end of December to see if the chemotherapy is working to reduce the tumours.

I am positive it’s not my time, and I’m fighting this!

If something doesn’t feel right keep pushing. Ask for the tests and scans. It’s better to be safe, especially young people as being young does not make you immune and we are often overlooked and told we have something completely different

I never had bowel issues and still don’t so be aware of your body as we only have one.