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I Woke One Day With A Colostomy Bag

When invited from interstate to a regional area as a grazing property caretaker, I traded life as an early retired academic, to now fix fences, rescue stock, move bags of chaff, was fit and looking forward to new relationships.

I got symptoms unusual for me, which could have been haemorrhoids, and went to the local GP explaining that my family had much history of cancer and bowel cancer, so although no one eats more greenery, fruit and nuts than me, I wanted it checked out. Seven months of consistently asking and going back and back, and having much increased symptoms, the GP had effectively done nothing, I just got the ‘fob off’ each time.

Despite the disapproval attached to ‘doctor shopping’ I went for a second opinion…..and 2 weeks later I was installed in a big city hospital having 24/7 chemo and radio therapy for more than a month. I later heard the tumour was now so large it was thought I would not survive. I went home feeling as well as could be, and the results came out clear.

I went back for the next test a bit later, and the result was revised.

Oh, well, I thought, I just go through all that again. They said, no, it does not work like that. You have had the max doses, any more will kill you, and given fast changes to date it is urgent not to have it escape into other organs. It was a bit grim, feeling quite well, and going in again knowing that my body and its function was to be radically and permanently changed internally and externally. I was months in hospital blacking out every day as they got me up. I had never been afraid until then, I began to fear I would never leave. And any idea of prospective long term romantic partnership was well gone.

My situation was compounded by domestic abuse, violence, major theft and stalking. I left as soon as I could, and it did not end there.

My body horrified me every day. The negligence of the original GP, made it harder to accept for a very long time.

I am extremely lucky to have a second chance at life, albeit very different to what could have been imagined.