This March we are walking 10,000 steps a day throughout the month to help beat cancer. Find out more about why I decided to join this cause.
The story of "Lynch Syndrome" - 21 years and counting....
"Lynch syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer" (colon and rectal cancer, cancers of the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder ducts, upper urinary tract, brain, skin, and prostate)
At the age of 39 our mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer (large bowel). After successful resection and chemotherapy, she was able to return to a relatively normal life. 16 years later and the bowel cancer had returned. Again after relatively early detection and another successful resection she was able to return back to a mostly normal life.
In 2019 after frequent trips to the GP and Accident & Emergency over 9-10 months our mum finally received a diagnosis of stage 4 bowel cancer (small bowel) and the added unfortunate news that this was an inoperable tumor. This was devastating news for our family, and a distressing lead up to the diagnosis. Our mum had been experiencing symptoms of bloatedness, eventually progressing to intermittent vomitting not particularly triggered by any particular food group (and believe me we tried it all), which eventually progressed to persistent vomitting, being unable to keep anything down. I encourage anyone out there who is concerned and experiencing these symptoms, please go and seek professional advice.
As we know, early detection can make a difference to survival outcomes, but her symptoms were not the "typical" reported symptoms of bowel cancers which meant the right diagnostic tests perhaps were not used at the right time resulting in a delayed diagnosis. This is why I want to share this story, to raise awareness about what non-typical presentations might look like, which may help improve outcomes in the future, and contribute to the ongoing research in Cancer care.
This diagnosis has been very difficult for our family as you can imagine, during such an unpresedented time, and has hit the hardest of all the cancer diagnosis. Mentally removing a tumor does something for giving hope even though cancer survivors and their families live with the possibility of the cancer returning which for our family and many others out there is a sad reality.
Each day we live through the worry of the cancer progressing or risk of exposure to Co-vid and what that might mean but we also live in hope that she can live to fight another day and at least maintain a quality of life for as long as possible if no "cure"
As an adult I have come to understand cancer to be a long-term condition that people are surviving longer with, thanks to the amazing research, time, effort and the charitable society we live in, collectively comitted to standing up to cancer.
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