To Day is my 5th year of Being Cancer Free, 7th of August 2019, as Lesley from Ostomate Active, who makes beautiful Covers for people who have Colostomy bags says,'' IT MY CANCER VERSARY DAY 5#
As we know now, Bowel Cancer does not discriminate- no matter how old you are, or how healthy, or even if you have never smoked, and even if your tumor was tested to see if it was Genetic, because of my father having Bowel Cancer, well it came back, that I don’t carry the Gene ..Hmm don’t know about that. I believe there is a Gene out there, waiting to be found..Well …I still managed to get it..
The only thing I can say is, my father had bowel cancer at 62, so I kind of knew, to just keep, an eye out for it. As his oncologist told me to watch out.. Well I tried.. So at the age of 49, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Bowel cancer and needed a permanent colostomy bag. Great….. Man something I tried to avoid…. It came at a time, when my life was so good, just after I married off my son and waiting for his son, my 1st grandson to be born, organising my daughters wedding, boy was that a challenge, and selling my home and shifting to a new home and had a great job as a medical secretary.
So this is my story….What happened was, when was 45, I was getting pretty bad symptoms of bowel cancer. Mind you, I was working at a Medical Centre at that time with specialists too, so I asked my specialist to do a colonoscopy, as I was so ill with symptoms. So he did the colonoscopy, and apparently he missed it,, he said ’ No Evie your all clear” Really I said….So for 3 years symptoms were getting worse, I asked every Dr in the Medical clinic, Please help me, do more tests, all came out clear. Apparently not one Dr gave me the proper blood test to check for cancer of any sort.
Even the biggest Professor missed it. So I booked my self for another colonoscopy with another Dr, I knew of and yes, the outcome was ‘ Sorry Evie you have Cancer’. I was 49. Stage 3, which meant, Chemo, Radiotherapy for a month everyday, then operation which resulted having a permanent colostomy bag, infection after a month not healing, another operation and another 6 weeks strong chemo every day, blood transfusions etc...And SO much more was happening…You know they say, Oh the worst thing is your hair will fall out, I say No, so many other worse symptoms that is never advised….
I never felt sorry for myself, MAD, yes, as I knew I had to get over this quickly, to get on with life, with my husband and kids and grandkids. It was harder on them, seeing me, the way I was suffering. They were suffering too, which I kept saying sorry….
BUT, I got to see my kids graduate from Uni, my first grand son was born, Christian, and saw my Daughter walk down the isle, was at the birth of my 2nd granddaughter, Adreana, and to top it off was also at the birth of my daughters baby girl, Angeline. Never thought, it was possible in 5 years all of this.. Amazing.
I even got to travel overseas, which was a Big challenge, as my mind was “ how, am I going to travel with this colostomy bag and watching out on everything I eat and having a fear of not walking away from a toilet “ But man I did it.
I was too scared, at the start, to go back to work, so I ended up Volunteering at the Cancer Council, because, through my Cancer treatments, I found them so helpful. I wanted to give back something, so, I started at the Retail shop, and then wig section, as my background is a hairdresser, then computer work for the Holiday program and Healthy living after Cancer. I helped promoting Bowel Cancer in advertising even got to go on TV and radio.. I said, yes, to everything they asked.. I have done talks with my Stoma nurse for awareness. Meeting up with Jill Hennessy, Minister of Health and discussing about after care programs, which she gave the Cancer Council money to help. I even ended up getting the CEO award at the Cancer Council of Victoria. What a privilege. How amazing is that.. My name is on there board.
Then when the right time came, with my body and mind, I did go back to work, as a secretary for an IVF Gyno specialist, absolutely loved it, helping women have babies. I even got a baby “EVIE'' named after me, how amazing and to top it off, I can’t believe a colostomy bag cover, made after me, the ''EVIE BAG’’ made by a company Ostomate Active by a beautiful understanding lady called Lesley…I have stopped working now and enjoy life babysitting and taking life in slow motion. Helping anyone that needs any guidance if they want regarding what I went through.
Thank you Lesley, making my life more comfortable…Love my Evie Bag cover…funny thing, when I first got my colostomy bag, the surgeon, said to me, ‘ So, Evie what will you call your bag., I said, ‘ WHAT, I will never call it a name, but I do now,,, Its My EVIE BAG….
I just hope, that during all my life and what I have gone through, I can inspire and give hope to as many people I can and leave, my Carbon Foot print behind of Hope and Strength and to Believe.
Love from Evie, Happy 5 years Cancer Versary...