Turning 35, A Birthday I Shall Never Forget.

Turning 35, A Birthday I Shall Never Forget.

This year marked my 35th Birthday, a birthday I always had in mind as my goal to really start getting my shit together. I have achieved many things in my life, my children being my  proudest achievement and our business idea tree designs another massive accomplishment. However I can never shake this feeling of wanting to do more. I know I am capable of so many things and this was my year to start…..


Unfortunately 4 days after my Birthday on Sunday 24th of July I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Fuck. 


Let me rewind: I have for as long as I can remember had bowel issues. “IBS'' if you will. Forever bloated and uncomfortable, food sensitivities which left me buckled in pain with hot sweats and nausea. So Tummy trouble is nothing new for me, but I had new symptoms. Blood in my stools and mucus covered stools. “Over share” I hear you cry -  Well quite frankly these symptoms have saved my life. So over share I shall!


 I could have easily ignored my symptoms and dismissed them as part of my “IBS”. I suppose to start with this is exactly what I did. “Oh it's something I ate” or  “something has irritated my tummy”  “im sure its nothing”

But it became more frequent and my bowel habits also changed. After tragically losing two friends to this disease I could not shake the thoughts of maybe I should get this checked.


So to cut a LONG story short, I had an amazing Dr who listened, she sent stool samples away urgently. These samples came back with scary high results which gave me the worst anxiety. But these scary results meant I was fast tracked for a colonoscopy. 

One revolting salty drink to clear me out and a rather large camera up my bottom I was face to face with my cancer on screen.


There were Three staff in the room, I made jokes with the guy about the amount of KY jelly being applied to the scope. I spoke with one nurse about my beautiful shop and laughed at the familiar gasp she made when I announced we have FIVE children.

I even had a very premature celebratory cry as they told me they had reached the top of the bowel and everything looked healthy. They asked me to repeat my symptoms and looked baffled as to what could be causing them.


Then the atmosphere changed, no one was cracking a joke and the polite questions about my life stopped. The Dr doing my procedure was giving concerned glances to the nurse. I knew something was wrong. The side eye gave it away. I could see a wotsit shape on the screen, they were taking biopsies and photos and you could cut the tension in the room with a knife. My cancer is quite low down and was not noticeable on the way in, Thankfully it was caught on the way out.


Matt was called to the ward, I told him what they had found. We sat and listened to what they had to say and all i can remember and all that sticks in my mind is -  “There is a cancer but i don't think it has been there long, they will remove it and the outcome will be good”


I repeated those words over and over for the next 9 days. “ it has not been there long, the outcome will be good” - I had not slept or eaten properly since my diagnosis, the overwhelming fear of being told I was dying stopped me from functioning. It was a paralysing fear. A fear I do not wish upon anyone.


I had a CT scan 5 days after my diagnosis to check for spread to the liver and lungs. I received a phone call four days later to tell me the scan was clear. I could breathe for the first time in weeks. The lady who delivered this good news is called Athena: Her beautiful name means goddess of wisdom & war. Maybe her name is symbolic to the small battle I have ahead. 


I thought I would struggle to put pen to paper when I started this but in fact I'm finding it hard to stop. (I can hear the jokes now, yes I know I can talk for england) but there is something rather therapeutic about telling my story. (oh no there may be a blog no.2. - no pun intended)

 If you have gotten this far then I thank you for reading. 


So here is the plan: I am having an operation to remove part of my bowel at the beginning of September. Im shit scared. But pulling up my Bridget Jones knickers and getting on with it.


Counting my blessings that my body gave me a sign that something was wrong and feeling eternally grateful to all the staff at addenbrooke's hospital who are angels in disguise.


Happy 35th Birthday to me. It's definitely time to get my shit together now!



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