I was diagnosed at 60 with stage 3 rectal cancer. 

My wife and I had received the home bowel scan tests in the past  but because we were too busy at the time, or so we thought, we put the kits aside.

However, when we both turned 60 yrs of age in early 2019, we decided that we would do the tests. My wife Andrea’s results were negative but mine was a positive result and I was encouraged to visit my GP.

At the visit, my GP arranged for me to have a colonoscopy on 14 May 2019. The doctor who performed the colonoscopy came in after the procedure and told me I had two smaller benign polyps they removed and one large growth which they could remove from my colon. He drew a diagram and said that I needed an operation to remove a section of my bowel and then re-join the colon (no colostomy bag) to await the histology results for the operation.

The doctor whilst talking with myself and my wife arranged an appointment with a colorectal surgeon and I had CT scans before the visit. The surgeon confirmed the location of the tumour and it was arranged to have a Laparoscopic Anterior Re-Section.

The operation went well and I had approximately 3 of 24 lymph nodes removed which indicated some problems. The surgeon suggested I undergo adjuvant chemotherapy to tidy up any traces of cancer in my system and he arranged a visit for me to see the oncologist.

The adjuvant chemotherapy was Folfox 6 specific to bowel cancer and I was able to manage 9 of 12 fortnightly treatments before I was overcome with some depression.

I have since received good reports from my follow up colonoscopy and scans plus quarterly CEA blood tests have all returned good results.

It seems I was fortunate to take the home bowel scan test when I did and was grateful I could have all of the treatment and follow up and support services from professionals in Townsville.

My experience is why I am keen to promote awareness of bowel cancer to my friends, their families and all others.