Beth Purvis

@NHS from 22/04/19 to 26/04/19

Twitter handle: @BowelWarrior

Patient/Carer or NHS Staff:  Patient

Condition or job title: Stage 4 Bowel Cancer

Place of treatment/care or workplace: St Mark’s Hospital,  The Royal Marsden, The Royal Brompton

I am 39 and I live with my husband and two children, our black labrador and guinea pig.  We also have a pony and a horse who live just down the road.  I enjoy horse riding and reading when I am not running around after the children or studying towards a career as a lawyer.

I was working for a law firm as a paralegal having just completed my law degree when I was diagnosed, I have had to put my plans to become a lawyer on hold, but I have recently started studying again.

I have had several operations on my bowels and lungs, and chemotherapy which has been difficult for me and my family.  When I was told I was stage 4 and the cancer had spread to my lungs I was told treatment was palliative, surgery was not possible and prognosis was 18 months to 3 years with treatment or 6 months without.  I feel lucky that after some time monitoring my lungs the surgeons at the Royal Brompton decided they could operate.

My last scan in March 2019 showed no evidence of disease, a situation I never thought I would be in and now my oncologist at the Royal Marsden believes prognosis is much improved.

I share my story and work with Bowel Cancer UK to raise awareness as when Bowel Cancer is caught in its earliest stages it is curable, had I been more aware my Cancer might have been caught earlier.  Unfortunately I was originally misdiagnosed with IBS, this along with a fissure masked the real cause of my problems meaning I ended up in A&E which lead to my diagnosis.  I hope that by sharing my experience others might recognise the signs that I did not and have their Cancer caught earlier.

Relevant links:

www.bowelwarrior.com

https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/news-and-blogs/news/download-our-brand-new-symptoms-diary/