I’m just like most mums – juggling work, family and trying to keep fit.
In 2016 I was running four days a week and doing two-hour Pilates classes. I was healthy – or so I thought – running my own business and mother to two beautiful children – a three-year-old and 18-month-old. Then in an instant everything changed.
In March of that year I had food poisoning, then a few months of varying degrees of constipation. But as busy mums do, I put off going to the doctor. My life changed dramatically when I was rushed to emergency surgery to relieve my obstructed bowel that has distended to seven centimetres. I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.
Suddenly the amazing life I had created was threatened.
Disbelief hit more than anything. I assumed people diagnosed with bowel cancer were really unwell before their diagnosis, lose a lot of weight, are unable to get out of bed… but that’s not often the case. In fact the disease can often show no obvious symptoms. Here I was fairly healthy, and suddenly I was given an expiration date.
Nothing will ever prepare you to hear the words, ‘You have six months to two years left.’ I was recovering at my parents house from the emergency surgery when I received the phone call from the colorectal surgeon.
Surrounded by family who were so distraught at the news of my diagnosis and prognosis I found myself trying to comfort and reassure them. I had to be the strong one even though I knew nothing about bowel cancer and the impact it was about to have on my life.