Tracey had just married Chris and was expecting her first child when she experienced severe bouts of diarrhea. At the time it was believed to be her body’s response to the pregnancy, but a colonoscopy in February 2010 revealed she had advanced rectal cancer.
She was fit and healthy at the time of her diagnosis, and was an avid runner, netball player and horse rider. Tracey was 37 years old and 22 weeks pregnant.
The first of many procedures was surgery for a colostomy. Tracey then had chemotherapy, followed by an elective caesarean at 32 weeks pregnant, to deliver their angel Harlow.
In the months following Harlow’s birth, Tracey completed courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and in September 2010 had surgery to remove the tumour in her bowel. At this stage she thought she had beaten bowel cancer, but as it turned out it was just the beginning.
A routine scan a year later showed the cancer was on the move and had spread to her liver. It later spread to her lungs. Tracey pushed on with surgery and many rounds of treatment believing all the way somehow by way of miracle she could beat it, but sadly she passed away in February 2014.
Harlow has just turned four and is too young to fully understand our loss. She knows her mum as the brightest star in the night sky and our angel in heaven.
Like Jodi, Tracy’s story could have been different if her cancer had been detected early. If you are worried about changes in your bowel function it is important to keep asking questions until an explanation is found.
* The SA Hiking Challenge 2015 was dedicated to Tracey Lee Diamond. Her family is committed to helping us prevent bowel cancer were the major sponsor of the event.