Alexandra considered herself to be a healthy person.
She continued to play team sports well into her 20s and when she reached her 30s she became a regular walker, enjoyed jogging occasionally and after each child attended a boot camp to get back into shape.
As someone who loved fruit and vegetables, Alexandra also found it easy to eat well.
Life was great.
I was fit, active and looking forward to the Melbourne Cup long weekend.
To make things even better, I had just been promoted to my dream job as a primary school principal.
It was only after a few people at work mentioned I was looking a bit pale, even yellow, that I decided to drop into the health clinic.
I thought that with two young kids, all my dignity had already been lost and nothing much could gross me out.
Yet it was one good, long episode of rectal bleeding that really made me face my squeamishness and uneasiness with discussing bodily functions.
The bleeding had stopped by the time I arrived at the hospital, when the doctors asked, “How much blood? A teaspoon? A tablespoon?”
I was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancer in 2015, at the age of 31.
At the time of my diagnosis the cancer had already spread extensively to my liver and lungs.
At the time I was diagnosed I had recently returned to work as a Midwife and our little boy was 18 months old.
When Alan Lowe first started writing his book Deal the Cards, he believed his daughter Katie would be alright and that everybody would live happily ever after.
“But life isn’t a fairy tale, and we have to live our lives with a broken heart,” said Alan.
“When cancer comes knocking on your door, it means you are about to embark on a journey with an unknown destination.”