Jenny’s Story

“I was diagnosed in November 2021 with stage 3 sigmoid colon cancer. My children were 6, 4 and 3 at the time and I thought I had haemorrhoids from childbirth. My GP was amazing and we monitoring for a month and did blood tests which came back as iron deficient so I went in for a colonoscopy and got the lift changing news.
I was in booked in to get surgery a week later and got the news it has spread to some lymph nodes that were removed but meant I needed to have chemotherapy afterwards. The next 6 months were a blur to be honest. I recovered from surgery and had a much quieter Christmas and then started Chemo on January the 10th. This was still in Covid times so it was very hard keeping away from friends and family to keep myself well which made me feel even more isolated.
My husband and Mum were amazing and took over the with kids so I could focus on myself to get through this but Mum guilt still rears its head that I had to miss the first day of school for my son and other key moments.
I managed to get through all 8 rounds of chemo but it got tougher and tougher and I still 2 years on have some of the side effects of neuropathy which I think will stay with me now.
Mentally it took a toll on my husband and I coming out the other side when you get told to “go back to normal” – your normal has changed forever along with priorities and how you view your life so that took time to deal with.
Overall now I am luckily that I don’t think about cancer on a daily basis now but reading o many stories of other young people getting diagnosed makes me hope we can get some research into why this maybe happening and also how we can support young families in these situations.

I don’t have too many photos during Chemo – but this one was taken in Rarotonga not long after I finished chemo. We booked it after my 6th round with 2 more sessions to go as we needed something fun to look forwards to at the end. We had such a great family time just relaxing and not thinking about anything medical for the first time in awhile! ”