I had been having abdominal pain most of 2021, mostly I could manage it, but it became worse around July/August 2021.
I was back and forth with the doctor, “it could be IBS, endometriosis, Crohn's disease” . . . But by October, the pain was excruciating and I ended up in the emergency department at the hospital.
They did a CT scan and ultrasound. They said there was nothing of concern and sent me home with Movicol as I was quite blocked up.
I was finally referred for a colonoscopy but had to wait until January before I could have it as they were busy and booked out.
I ended up back in ED in November, still dismissed and told to go home.
I finally had my colonoscopy in January and everything went so quickly from there.
The tumour was found, I was booked in for surgery the next day, turns out the tumour was actually on the scan I had in October, but no one picked it up because they weren’t looking for cancer due to my age.
No time to think about what was happening.
Surgery went well, no colostomy bag needed.
I was diagnosed with stage 3c. 19 lymph nodes were taken and cancer was found in six.
I'm now on my chemo journey.
I’m on my sixth round of 12, finally ticking off my halfway mark.
I can’t wait for it to be over, so I can start enjoying my life again and spending time with my kids and husband.
It’s so hard and more awareness in young people needs to be made.
Wherever you are with your journey, stay positive and keep fighting.
You’ve got this.
It IS possible for young people to get bowel cancer.
I was just 33 years old. Just ask for that colonoscopy referral early so it can be treated or ruled out, but don’t dismiss it.