On the 12th June this year I received my 5 yearly clear CT scan for my testicular cancer. I was finally in complete remission. It was a momentous milestone, and something that every cancer survivor strives towards.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go to plan… 2 months later I was booked in for what was meant to be a routine colonoscopy. My whole world shook when I heard my doctor tell me that I had what seemed to be bowel cancer. What? Young people can’t even get bowel cancer…can they? After a plethora of questions, I was referred to a surgeon. It wasn’t until I left the doctor’s rooms and walked to my car when I completely broke down. It was like deja vu. It was a lot to take in.
I was booked in for surgery on the 14th August. The surgeon removed about 80% of my colon, which was riddled with cancer.
Unfortunately I never take the easy road, and once again, life had another shitty (pun intended) bump in the road. Soon enough I was rushed in for emergency surgery. My remaining bowel had somehow twisted, something that my surgeon hadn’t seen for 15 years. Overall I spent 3 weeks in hospital, but there was no greater feeling than finally discharging.
It sure has been an emotional roller-coaster, but I could not have done it without the love and support from Amber and all my family and friends. I am well and truly on the mend now, and apart from ongoing surveillance, and a change in diet with my new bowel, life will go on.
In sharing my story, the message I want to get across is the importance of early diagnosis in any medical condition. Had I waited for even 6 months, the cancer would have most likely spread beyond the bowel. Instead of a >90% survival rate, it would have been <20%.
For everyone out there, you are not invincible in your 20s or 30s. Don’t put off going to see a Doctor. Have annual health checks. The best news you can get is that you have a clean bill of health. If you do have something wrong, then great, get on top of it and fix it! I can tell you first hand, I would have never thought I would have had cancer twice before 30. But I am living proof that cancer does not discriminate.
Next time you are stressed with work, finances, relationships, or even life itself, just realise that the most important thing in this life is your health, as without it, everything else is irrelevant.
Also by Hugo Toovey:
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