I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in January 2014 at age 47. I had first experienced some bleeding and consulted my GP in August 2013 about it. He said it was very common complaint and as I had no risk factors including no family history to come and see him if it didn’t resolve itself in a few months. The bleeding became worse and I also experienced mucus discharge on some occasions and changes in bowel habits with increased frequency.
I was pretty sure everything was OK but just to make sure I took a deep breath and looked on the Bowel Cancer Australia web site. The one thing that really jumped out at me was that 90% of colorectal cancer can be cured if it was caught early enough. I asked myself what percentage I wanted to be in and really it was a no brainer. So I figured if it was cancer and it could be fixed it was best to get that done and not stick my head in the sand and hope it goes away.
During the colonoscopy I had a 3cm polyp removed which a week later I was told was cancerous and that I would need to be referred to a Colorectal surgeon. During my colonoscopy and the removal of the polyp my bowel was perforated, which no one seemed to realize until a week later, I became to get really unwell and was admitted to hospital and required 30cm of my bowel to be removed. It all happened so fast, like it was almost not real.