Robyn’s Story

Robyn Appleton - Personal Stories - Bowel Cancer New Zealand


My surprise/shock diagnosis landed on me at age 54 in July last year after being ‘off colour, grumpy, tired and lost’ for a couple of years.
I went back and forth to the Dr requesting blood tests etc but nothing ever showed anything. I came home from work the first Friday in July 19 and had a massive loss of blood from ‘behind’. Off to hospital, admitted for a colonoscopy then BOOM!!! CANCER!!! 
I can’t actually remember what the chain of events was but basically radiation to shrink the tumour, surgery for removal of the tumour, ileostomy, chemo for 6 rounds then another surgery for a reversal on June 20.
Never in my mind did I ever think I would ever get cancer. But my attitude was ‘cut it out as I’ve got things to do!’ The whole experience strangely was great, and by that, I mean the support from such knowledgeable caring hospital nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, my husband and daughters was outstanding.
A thorough follow-up plan is in place for monitoring and I’ve just had my second followup blood test which is clear and may that be how the next 18 are. 
It hasn’t been easy and it still isn’t easy, but it’s been an experience I have learnt a great deal from.