March 11, 2016

Determined Mum's rollercoaster cancer journey - Bowel Cancer NZ

At 33 weeks pregnant with her second child, the last thing a young Feilding mother expected was to be diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Laura Roberts was just 28 when she was told the news in June 2014.

Since then, she has had two major surgeries, 13 rounds of chemotherapy, 23 lymph nodes removed and five pieces of body parts removed, including part of her bowel, liver, appendix, gall bladder, and an ovary.

Laura Roberts was 33 weeks pregnant when she was told she had bowel cancer.

She said at the time the news was devastating.

“I felt side-swiped really because I’ve always been a healthy person, doing the right things, exercising, eating well, rarely drinking alcohol.

“It was really just out of the blue.”

Five weeks after giving birth to her daughter Lucy, she had a bowel resection.

“About six weeks after that, I went straight up to ED with horrendous pain, nausea and vomiting and they did a CT and found it in my liver.

“It was a very rare, like 0.2 per cent type called Neuroendocrine Tumor​ (NET).”

She said her journey had been a rollercoaster, but she was blessed to get through it.

In January 2015, she had a 60 per cent liver resection.

“I finished treatment in July last year and have had clear scans since then.”

Throughout her journey, her two daughters, Charlotte, 3, and Lucy, now 20 months, were her motivation.

“It sounds really cheesy but you’ve got to live each day to the fullest because nobody knows what’s going to happen.”

“You just get to see what’s important in life and what you want for your children in the future. Your priorities change and you’ve got to enjoy the small things and not worry so much.”

While her cancer was rare and not hereditary, her father had throat cancer in 2006.

“It was a stage four and they didn’t expect him to get through that, but he did and he’s still here.

“Dad’s very determined, stubborn and that’s where I got that from and Lucy is the same.”

Roberts said her focus in life now was to spend time with her family, her daughters and enjoy the small things in life.