I survived bowel cancer
Marsie Hurren shares her incredibly brave journey of beating bowel cancer.
During September of 2014 I had visited my GP due to a change in bowel habit, he sent me off for a routine colonoscopy. After the procedure, the receptionist handed me an appointment card with another appointment the following week. I thought that a bit odd, I thought I would go back to my GP for the result but I had to come back to the clinic the following week.
I didn't have to wait very long before being called into the Gastroenterologist's office. He starts off by saying "I could not complete the colonoscopy due to a blockage". My mind was racing, what does he mean, blockage? Why didn't he take it out? Then next thing I heard was "It is indicative of cancer". I don't really remember much after that, everything seemed to be in slow motion as we walked back to the car. The following days were a whirlwind of tests and appointments and I found myself in surgery a few days later to remove the tumour.
So many things went through my mind, who would look after my partner, what would he do without me? My beautiful granddaughter, Hayley, I want to be here to see her grow up, and my children, who would guide and watch over them? Would they miss their mother as much as I did? I tried to remain positive but it was so hard. I joined a Facebook support group for Bowel Cancer Survivors which was a great source of information and support but during my time on this forum so many of our fighters have lost the battle. So many young people are being affected by this hideous disease, it breaks my heart. Young people with young families, why them and not me?
Surgery was followed by nine months of chemotherapy. At times during the treatment I was so ill I actually wanted to die. I would drag myself out of bed every morning and look out my bedroom window at the garden that we had planned and talked about so much and wonder "Will I ever see it finished"? Then I would think of all the people I love, my partner, my beautiful children and my gorgeous little granddaughter and it would give me the fight to go on. Chemo was not very kind to me, it not only made me quite ill but it took away my self-confidence and instilled a fear that I cannot seem to shake off so many months later. My head is still foggy, like it was during chemo, I forget so many things. I suppose it will right itself eventually.
But here I am 18 months later with another beautiful granddaughter, Olivia, and no evidence of disease! I have just commenced a six month "Healthy Living after Cancer" program run by the Cancer Council which is designed for those like me who have struggled to get back to “normal” after treatment. The program gives you over the phone coaching and support with diet and exercise and is really helping me put my life back on track.
I will still need to have six monthly check ups and yearly scans for the next five years to ensure there is no reoccurrence but I'm still here. My motto is NEVER GIVE UP!
For more information about bowel cancer, please visit the Jodi Lee Foundation.