Lisa’s Story

Lisa - Personal Stories - Bowel Cancer New Zealand


Hi my name is Lisa.

I was a very fit and healthy person at the time of my cancer diagnoses. My job involved working outdoors in the bush very step terrain, doing predator control for the protection of Kiwis and our flora and fauna.

My only symptom was a small amount of blood in my stool, which I sought immediate medical help from my G.P, and got a colonoscopy 3 weeks later.

My blow with bowel cancer started by my cancer being missed during a colonoscopy in Thames hospital in Nov 2017. I did not find out I had colon-rectal cancer stage 3 N 1 until 7 months later. I was 52 years old.

I had to go privately for another colonoscopy, as it was difficult to get another one, because of the false negative colonoscopy result before.

Since then I have had many treatments. I have had 7 operations, radiation and chemotherapy for a month, my rectum was removed, I had a temporary stoma for 3 months, 6 bowel blockages, and a stoma reversal.

I was all good again for many months until a routine CT scan picked up 2 spots in my lungs, 2 years after my 1st diagnosis. These turned out to be cancer metastases from my bowel cancer. I was very lucky that these could be surgically removed. It was called oligo-metastasis, which means a few. Now I am on chemotherapy for months.

The hardest things about getting a cancer diagnosis was having to tell my family and children, and then the horrible wait for results and plan of how to treat it and to accept that I had been failed by the first false diagnosis, which delayed treatment, allowing my cancer to grow bigger and made matters much worse for me.

A bad bowel cancer diagnosis can happen to anyone, cancer is indiscriminate who it chooses. If you have any signs or feel something isn’t right with your body, get checked out. If your doctor is not helpful, get a second and third opinion. Borrow money for a private colonoscopy if you need to. And never ever let the fear of cancer stop you finding out if you have cancer or not. Believe me, there will be much more fear coming your way with a later diagnosis.

Finding out early really is the best cure.

I have been very lucky to have been supported by my lovely partner and family.