Ever since a parting gift of a Giardia parasite from a family holiday in Thailand, I’d grown used to the occasional sight of blood and mucous in my stools, finding it more annoying than alarming. My naturopath thought I’d probably picked up another parasite, which made sense as a stool test around 12 months prior had returned normal. What else could it be, after all I was only 42.
Just to be on the safe side, my GP referred me to a gastroenterologist for a gastroscopy and colonoscopy. I left the recovery room, the gastroenterologist’s words still fresh in my ears, ‘You’re one lucky woman. I removed a polyp from your bowel (rectum) but it all looks fine.’ Five days later came the unexpected phone call – the histopathology showed the polyp was far from fine, with cells outside the polyp’s margins indicating that the cancer had spread. How far he couldn’t say.