I was immediately put on chemo and radiation to try and shrink the cancer before they surgically removed it. I was given an ileostomy for 8 months and more chemo to try and prevent it spreading. The ileostomy was reversed and I was cancer free for 12 months.
Unfortunately, the cancer spread to my right lung and then to my left lung which meant several more surgeries in 2018.
At my most recent scan, I was given the all clear again. But now it is stage 4, I think we will always live in fear of it returning.
The biggest challenge after my diagnosis has been the struggle to maintain a ‘normal’ lifestyle. During the early treatment I managed to work full time and continue my Crossfit training, but I am now unable to do either. I have limitations where I didn’t before.
The one piece of advice I would give to anyone would be: Get it checked out! I was extremely fit, ate clean healthy foods and was (in my understanding) way too young! I am lucky the Dr. was wise enough to request a colonoscopy even when he wasn’t too concerned.
Never Too Young Awareness Week
WHAT: A dedicated week (3-9 June 2019) during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month honouring people who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer under the age of 50 and are now living with or beyond the disease, as well as honouring the memory of those who have passed away from young-onset bowel cancer. Sharing photos and stories to raise community awareness of bowel cancer and provide support to young people diagnosed with the disease.
WHEN: Held annually in June each year.
WHY: 1,413 Australians under the age of 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, and that number is growing. We’re not okay with that. You’re not either. Let’s shout it out and shake things up.
WHO: If you are living with or beyond young-onset bowel cancer or are a loved one - we’d love you to join our community of #Never2Young Champions, and to encourage your friends, family and everyone else you know (and maybe even people you don’t) to support Never Too Young Awareness Week too.
Register now to become a #Never2Young Champion and help us spread the word that you’re never too young to have bowel cancer this Never Too Young Awareness Week.
We'll send you further details on how you can get involved, as well as a copy of the latest Never Too Young Awareness Week sign for you to share.