My story is to bring awareness to everyone that young people can have bowel cancer too. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, no pity parties just a positivity party to celebrate and appreciate EVERY little thing in life. When someone says life is too short, treat every day like it’s your last. Maybe we should.
I was a fit, healthy 32-year-old living life, travelling, eating well, exercising and always having fun. There were a lot of days I suffered from bloating, stomach cramps and living with groin pain. I was forever changing and adjusting my diet to prevent the symptoms I was having on and off. I had low iron levels for a long time which never rang any alarm bells for anyone as the iron supplements didn’t help. Before lockdown the pain became consistent and often very painful. I was booked in with specialists to try and work out what was causing the pain. I had two visits to ED and sent home with pain relief because my blood tests always came back totally normal.
During lockdown I experienced extreme stomach cramps, spasms and nausea. EVERY. DAY.
I was taken to ED in the ambulance when I was beside myself in pain in the middle of the night. The doctor Tuesday morning sent me home with more pain relief and advised me to eat kiwifruit! and was reassuring me I was on the right path as I was booked in for a colonoscopy the following week. Two more days of pain, back to ED after a phone consult with a doctor to have bloods repeated as he could hear the pain in my voice was taking my breath away and had me doubled over. I received the same treatment again and sent home hours later with no further answers from lack of investigating, just with minimal pain relief and the continuing pain. Thursday night was the worst, I had to break my families bubble on Friday and lie on the couch feeling nauseous while clutching my stomach. Early afternoon I vomited (finally) black liquid which meant they would now take me seriously. Friday night we got answers! Back to ED with my Mum by my side because I wouldn’t enter ED alone.
An amazing nurse and doctor finally ordered a CT scan and kept me comfortable and well looked after.
The scan provided results but not the results we were expecting to hear. Abnormal. “You have an obstructed bowel”. Unheard of. A 32-year-old female with no ‘obvious’ symptoms that that could even be an option.
I had a 5 and a half hour bowel operation to remove the 4cm growth that was obstructing my bowel. The surgeon informed my Mum and I the following day that she also found a cancerous node on the outside of my bowel which was removed with the tumour and 10cm of bowel. We were all shocked and upset that it had taken soooo long for anything to happen and this was the cause of the pain I had been living with for years.
I have the most amazing humans around me, supporting, feeding, caring and making sure I have the best recovery which I will be forever grateful for. I was surprisingly okay about it all and totally knew I was going to fight it because I didn’t have cancer in my body anymore, I just had a long road ahead of me.
I consider myself lucky and now somewhat healthy and currently having cheese dreams which makes my little soul happy as its been a LONG time since I ate cheese. Along with cheese dreams I am so thankful I will be able to make a full recovery in a few months after chemotherapy and a wee holiday. I am thankful that I will be able to live a different life full of energy and not be worried about what I can and can’t eat.
I am excited about my bright big FUN future with all my superhuman supporters. You know who you are. I have quite the A team that has my back…24/7.