Vanessa’s Story

I had a bloated stomach and faint stomach cramps occasionally. I would normally have a bowel motion every 2 days but started needing to move my bowels several times a day and to the point of urgency. I googled my symptoms and looked past the cancer pages as I was only 39yo and super fit and healthy. I thought I had celiac. I booked a doctors appointment approx 3 months after my first symptoms. I’m quite modest but my doctor thought it was best I got bloods done and then stool test. Results for stool came back with blood so my doctor asked if I had private health insurance which I did, and a colonoscopy was booked very quickly. After my colonoscopy a nurse advised I had bowel cancer. I think I left my body for that first week. I met Frank Frizel, my doctor and he was amazing. Every day I had a scan, MRI, bloods or appointment to start my journey. I thought I was going to die and it would only be a matter of time to be told how long I had. The weekend prior to being diagnosed I had bought 2 pairs of new shoes. I thought in my head, what God would let someone buy two new pairs of shoes and then let them know they were going to die and they would not get the pleasure of wearing them! I know crazy thoughts go through your head. I laugh at that now. I’m very happy and appreciate my life more than ever. I have a scar from the surgery but it doesn’t bother me because Im here. Im alive. Im very open to talking about bowel cancer and I hope my story will save lives by people looking at how young I am and thinking geee I guess that means I could get it. I had two young children at the time a 2 year old and a 5 year old. My husband, friends and family were great. I had meals dropped off for weeks. Luckily my husband worked full time so financially we were fine as I had 1 year off to recover and go through my chemo treatment. I never told my kids that I had cancer. They were little they wouldn’t understand. They only found out last year. My daughter thought I was in hospital having a baby. I lay for hours at night looking at my lifestyle, genetics and how I lived my life compared to others my age. Racking my brains to work out what gave me this and what I need to cut out off my life so Im not exposed to what ever it is that could potentially give me cancer again. I have no idea. But it scares me the amount of numbers, preservatives and addatives in our food today. Every shelf in a supermarket is packed with processed foods. I think we need to go back to my parents area where everything was made from scratch.