After the birth of my second daughter I experienced a lot of gas and bloating. I presumed it was due to having a C-section, and when I mentioned it to my GP they said it was potentially that or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I had no other issues like bleeding or irregular bowel movements so I didn’t question it any further.
Three months later a friend of mine who had recently completed The Jodi Lee Foundation’s JLF Trek told me about the bowel screening test. I decided to do one, and the result came back negative.
My bloating and gas symptoms continued, so I went to another GP at the same clinic who said it was most likely IBS. At this stage I still had no bleeding or other bowel changes.
Twelve months after my symptoms began I experienced stomach cramps and vomiting, which I put down to gastro, however four weeks later I had another bout. I went back to the doctor who did some blood tests. The vomiting continued so I went back again and they sent me for CT scans. This process took about a week.
When I went back for my results the doctor told me that tumors had be found. A few days later I saw a surgeon and had a colonoscopy, which confirmed the tumours were cancer. A few days later I had further tests that showed the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and peritoneal wall, and I was told my cancer was advanced metastatic Stage IV bowel cancer.
I recovered for four weeks then started chemotherapy. After five rounds scans showed the cancer had continued to grow, so I started on a new type and after five rounds I had started to respond.
Cancer does not discriminate. It has changed our lives. We have moved towns to be closer to family and medical services.
My daughters are five years old and 18 months old, and I’ll be fighting every step of the way to be here to watch them grow up.
Sadly Emily lost her battle with bowel cancer and passed away in August 2017. Our thoughts are always with her family and friends.