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Yesterday, I was officially discharged from my Oncologist!

It has been five years since I had bowel cancer , aged just 25, and since then, thankfully, my health has been very good with no sign of anything nasty returning.

I have been having yearly appointments with my Oncologist, the consultant who looked after me throughout my chemotherapy. These have been mainly routine, asking me if there’s anything I’m worried about, and having a feel of my tummy. Yesterday was my fifth – and last one.

I took Isla along while Lilly was at nursery. I arrived at the clinic and was ushered straight in by my doctor. He told me I was being discharged and that I had been a “superstar” patient. I introduced him to Isla and we chatted about the fact that, five years ago, our conversation was about whether or not the chemotherapy I was about to have would leave me infertile. The fear of not having children was absolutely the worst thing about the whole experience, but my doctor had tried to reassure me that the chances of the chemo making my infertile were “slim”. But, as I said to him yesterday, a slim chance is still a chance, and you just can’t help but worry.

If I could have had a crystal ball to look into my future and see myself with my two wonderful daughters, it would’ve saved me a lot of tears, worry and anxiety. But then again I feel blessed that I never took for granted my ability to have children, and I hope I’m a better person for experiencing┬áthat incredibly strong yearning for a family of my own. If nothing else I hope it has given me empathy for others who have difficulty conceiving, and hopefully means I won’t take my girls or my hapy life for granted.

I was incredibly lucky that my cancer was discovered when it was, before it spread, despite my own failure to recognise the symptoms of the anaemia that I’d┬áprobably been living with for years. I’ve learnt that you should listen to your body. Sometimes, being a little bit more of a hypochondriac might just save your life. And I’ve learnt that cancer doesn’t just happen to other people, or just to old people. I’ve also been lucky to have a wonderful husband with me throughout all of this, and a great family.

My consultant asked me yesterday what I put my “success” down to. A funny question. I haven’t “done” anything. I’ve just carried on living. I was lucky to be treated by a fantastic surgeon and to have had great aftercare from my Oncologist. Thank you Warrington Hospital. I owe you a lot.

I have been very, very lucky.

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