Ainslie’s Story

It is almost 10 years since the passing of Ainslie’s Dad (Ainslie is pictured centre in photo one), who was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancer 15 months prior.

“Previously there was no history of bowel cancer in our family, so it was all a learning journey. The treatments were quite brutal with side effects including hair loss, loss of appetite, daily injections of blood thinners & metallic taste. It was difficult to watch Dad go through this, especially without the outcome we hoped for.

The day after Dad’s funeral, I found out I was pregnant. This was a saving grace in our lives with something to look forward to in the sad and emotional farewell to Dad. A few months later, my brother was doing some gardening & had some stomach pains. Luckily, he went to seek medical advice & due to family history was immediately scheduled for a colonoscopy. To our horror he also had a stage IV bowel cancer which was blocking his bowel, had liver metastasis & positive cancerous lymph nodes. Wade was only 29 & I didn’t realise bowel cancer affected younger people. Wow, how I was wrong.

Wade went through a range of treatments & changed his lifestyle to give the best chance of fighting the cancer. Luckily, he has been cancer free for over 5 years now & we are eternally grateful for his response to the treatment.

Being a new Mum with two family members diagnosed with bowel cancer I was very anxious to have my colonoscopy, but I got the all clear. What a relief! Now I have colonoscopies every 3 years to check for abnormalities as early detection is key to improved survival. The whole process of having a colonoscopy is not as bad as people may tell you. Compared to having undetected cancer it gives me peace of mind for my health & wellbeing.

I want to improve awareness, screening & remove the taboo around this cancer to improve early detection, treatment & ultimately survival so that no one has to endure bowel cancer in their family.”