In summary, over the last two years I have had three operations, two colonoscopies, six weeks of chemo/radiation, four months of chemotherapy, an ileostomy, a hernia on my bowel surgery scar, gone through instant menopause and had to give up work.
However, since going through bowel cancer, all my tests have been clear and my last CT is in September 2013, which will be two years since the operation.
Over Christmas 2007, I was incredibly sick with what I thought was food poisoning until the sickness quickly turned into severe pain. I decided go to my local hospital in Macksville, where I was admitted for two days and given a colonoscopy to investigate the abdominal pain. The diagnosis was bowel cancer and 10 days later I had surgery. I had 55cm of bowel and 17 lymph nodes removed and fortunately only four nodes were cancerous. I now have a secondary tumour between my bladder and rectum, which we hope will respond to the chemotherapy I’m undergoing.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 37, totally unexpected at such a young age.
The only real experience I’d had with the disease was watching my grandfather live with a colostomy bag after the removal of his bowel when I was a child. But I no longer consider this an ‘old man’s disease’.