Elise’s Story

Just two weeks after Elise’s 36th birthday her whole world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer.

Elise had been experiencing sporadic left sided abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, bloating and frequent diarrhoea which she presumed was the endometriosis that she had been suffering with for the last 11 years.

But the pain went on and she knew something wasn’t right. Even though Elise had a colonoscopy in March 2021 that was all clear, she underwent a pelvic ultrasound in October 2022 which showed a lesion on her bowel.

On 30th January 2023 Elise went in for a laparoscopy with removal of endometriosis plus a potential bowel resection.

Elise woke up to the news that they found a suspicious tumour in her bowel, and they were 99% sure it was cancer but had to wait for pathology to confirm.

The next week was spent in hospital, then home to recover for two weeks and get ready for major surgery.

The second surgery was to confirm staging of the cancer. Elise had a high anterior bowel resection and removal of lymph nodes but sadly the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes.

Following the surgery Elise underwent a gruelling six rounds of chemotherapy.

“I have an incredibly positive attitude and I knew I could beat this horrible disease just like my older sister Lana did two years prior. But sadly, I’d seen my sister go through it so I knew what was ahead of me. When Lana was diagnosed, we (siblings) were all told by the oncologist we need to be screened. We had scopes two years ago which were all clear, so my tumour was very fast and aggressive because it had grown so quickly in that time.” Elise says.

We are thrilled to say that Elise had fantastic news late last year – her first scan and bloods post-chemo have given her the all clear.

Elise is passionate about sharing her story and spreading awareness. She has become a huge advocate for trusting your gut and getting checked out if something doesn’t feel right.

“People need to be aware and listen to their bodies. I trusted my gut and I think it’s so important to trust that gut instinct. Don’t give up. It can change your life.”