It was September 2021 and never did I imagine that I would hear the words “we have found a tumour” in my whole life.
That’s what I was told from a lovely nurse at my bedside when I woke up from the colonoscopy I had pushed for despite 3 doctors dismissing my symptoms due to my age .
I had been visiting the doctors trying to tell them I had bloating, constipation, shooting pains and dark coloured blood and blood clots.
One doctor even asked if I was sure it wasn’t my period!
I was also told to try weight loss injections as it would change my life .
They ALL said I was too young for bowel cancer .
Two weeks later I couldn’t take it anymore, I couldn’t eat as I wouldn’t use the bathroom afterwards.
I had the classic signs, blood, pencil thin stools, pains, bloating, anaemic.
My children were all I thought about as soon as I was told I had cancer.
I was scared, so scared. I’d cry by myself in the shower and in bed.
I couldn’t stop googling survival rates, how to cure cancer diets. I was determined to be here for my kids.
I had radiation therapy and a bowel resection where I had an 8-hour robotic surgery which was life changing.
I woke with an ileostomy bag and it was extremely confronting to see.
The stoma nurses were absolutely amazing and I stayed in hospital for 10 nights. I was then ready to go home and felt confident with the bag.
I had my bag for 6 months and it saved my life.
There was no signs of metastasis or lymph nodes. It went very well.
September 2022 I had my bag reversal, and it was very daunting as I had lost an organ and had (still trying) to retrain my body.
But I have been managing quite well and feel blessed because in February this year my first colonoscopy was clear.
I am due for my next scans in September and although I’ll always have anxiety about cancer, I know the power of positivity makes a difference.
My advice to anybody who is concerned with how they are feeling, push for a colonoscopy.
Don’t give up. You know your body!
Don’t leave things too late, my surgeon told me my tumour would have been growing for 5-8 years.
Listen to your body, even when it whispers.