My name is Rachel Bown (now Haynes, I slipped in a marriage inbetween all this cancer business!). I was 45 years old when diagnosed and up until then had never really been ill. After months of suspecting the IBS wasn’t getting any better, I returned to the doctors to be finally fast tracked for a consultation. Like many people I have since discovered, especially those of us under 60, my bowel cancer had been mistaken by the medical profession for IBS.
Once I was diagnosed with bowel cancer on 17 August, things moved fast and I underwent a bowel resection on 24 August. The scans and path reports confirmed the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and liver. T4N2M1 for those who are interested in these things. 6 weeks after my bowel operation, I was back in hospital on 6 October undergoing my first liver resection to remove the affected part of my liver and my gall blader. On 9 November, I started many months of chemotherapy – 2 weeks on and 1 week off, and as I needed rescuing from myself and daytime TV, I figured this blog would do the job.
I have 2 amazingly resilient children aged 11 and 13 at diagnosis, and the most supportive family and friends anyone could ever wish for. So I know I am very lucky and with support and faith, I will beat this.
NEWS UPDATE: I am in remission!
NEW UPDATE: It came back a year later in my liver in June 2013. Miraculously had another liver resection, this time on the pointy end of the liver, also known as the left lobe. Aiming for remission again. Never give up, never give in.
MORE UPDATES: After pre op complications, hernia ops and infections I am back in remission again. For the second time. 6 months and counting!
MORE UPDATES: Still in remission over 3 years and counting! Despite naughty polyps popping up still.
FINAL UPDATE; 5 years following relapse and second liver resection, I am considered CURED. Can you believe it? My oncologist has told me to go and live my life and I couldn’t be more shocked or grateful. How many people pray for a just day or even a moment that I am in danger of wasting if I don’t wise up to what I’ve been put on this wonderful earth for. If anyone is still reading this dusty blog 7 years later, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE IN. God bless you all x