Myra’s Story

“Because the toilet bowls fill up quite high in the US, when I turned to flush I noticed something in my poop that looked like dark red lines. When I got home I was in two minds about going to the doctors coz my symptoms were gone – but I did and because my grandfather had died of bowel cancer (which I didn’t realise until right then) I was put on a semi-urgent priority for a colonoscopy “”just to be safe””. 6 weeks later on 18 April 23, I saw my tumor on the big screen. I was stage 3 (in local lymph nodes).

My hubby was quiet but later said it was like someone punched a hole in his guts. We told our kids right away (ages 7 to 24).

On the June 6th I started 1 week of radiation at Palmy (we stayed at Ozanam House which is amazing). I was active, but after the 2nd radiotherapy session I was so sore in my hips and pain radiating down my legs. I had to go on serious painkillers. The murals in the radiotherapy rooms were soothing. I said karakia during every session but by the end I hated it.

I started chemo but my body rejected the oral pills and I had horrible diarrhea, was hospitalised and lost 5kg. I switched to folfox – got a port (highly recommend if you’ve got rubbish veins) and went until the end of November making friends with a bum bag #iykyk

Neurospathy was the worst in my mouth esp teeth. Post chemo it got worse in my fingers and toes and I’m still waiting for those symptoms to fade. I ate my way through chemo and was very fortunate that I work only part time from home so spent most of June to November at home with my family (and my food!).

My sigmoidiscopy and CT/MRI came back clear. It’s a miracle not lost on me as I lost a dear friend to cancer this year. I’m so thankful to the lovely nurses at Villa 6 (Hastings). The way I made it through was by being grateful for the little things, accepting help and not putting too much pressure on what I could achieve.”