Life was great. I was fit and active, looking forward to the Melbourne Cup long weekend when to make things even better it was made official that I had been given my dream job - perfect!
I didn’t play cricket that weekend as I hadn’t trained because I didn’t feel up to it, and after the usual washouts and byes at the start of the season I couldn’t really get too motivated. Every time I trained I struggled but that’s what happens when you hit 41 years of age and you try to keep up with teenagers and fit tradies.
I was diagnosed with Bowel cancer in June 2017. I was 54 and the treatment team said that it was between stage 2 and stage 3.
I’ve had stomach issues for most of my life and have learned through experience not to eat fatty foods or full fat dairy.
But I’m only 39!! Cancer. Bowel cancer! How can I possibly have bowel cancer? I’m only 39!
And there I was. Only 39 years of age, living in Singleton NSW and working in the best job I'd ever had in my life, and I'd had plenty. Married with kids. Just bought the first house I had ever owned. I was fairly happy, even though the job brought with it a lot of high pressure self-imposed stress. I loved it and the future was assured.
In June 2015, my brother Andrew was treated for diverticulitis (with antibiotics), a condition where pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine become infected or inflamed. A few years prior, he was hospitalised for over a week with similar symptoms, these included severe pain in the abdomen.
On the 4th of May 2017, at age 27... Just 19 days before my 28th birthday, I was told that I have bowel cancer. Not particularly in the nicest way either.
It was blunt and I was alone in a hospital bed having just come out of a colonoscopy and woken up still high on the anaesthetic; tucking into sandwiches left by my bed having not been able to eat in about 60 hours by that point.