A MUM suffered with what felt like period pains for 18 months before a trip to A&E revealed a more sinister diagnosis.
Paula Friggieri had been experiencing dull stomach pains, thinking it was IBS sparked by work stress.
The 53-year-old put it down to not eating properly or taking care of herself while feeling run down.
But the mum-of-three was then raced to A&E months later, and given the shocking news she had bowel cancer.
Paula said: “It’s hard to explain the devastation, it was surreal like it wasn’t happening to me.”
She then faced another tragedy when blood tests found Paula has a rare DPD deficiency.
Read more on cancer
This means she can’t properly detoxify her system after having chemotherapy, and so would only be able to handle half the usual strength.
They went ahead with the treatment, but it began to kill off Paula’s white blood cells as well as reducing the tumour so she had to stop.
Until last month the plan was to remove the tumour, tackling the cancer that way.
But following a scan, doctors delivered some bad news.
Die meeste gelees in Gesondheid
Paula said: “We went into that meeting in February like it was a done deal and I was going to have my operation.
“So when the surgeon said: ‘I’m really sorry your cancer has spread and we suspect it’s gone to your liver. And we are not going to be able to operate’. My world fell apart again.
“It was then I thought: ‘This cancer is going to kill me, I am going to die’.”
The family have been frantically looking at options elsewhere, finding a clinic in Germany.
It specialises in personalised treatment by taking a biopsy of the tumour and testing various treatments on it, to see which is the most effective in killing the Kanker cells.
Paula’s daughter Ashlea set up a GoFundMe -bladsy to help raise money for the treatment, with the total smashing £10,000 in just three days.
The mum added: “I’m very emotional. Everybody donating and all the kind words is so overwhelming.”
Bowel cancer is where the disease starts in the large intestines – it’s also referred to as colon or colorectal cancer, because it can also affect the colon and rectum.
Most bowel cancers develop from pre-cancerous growths, called polyps.
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, spotting any changes and going to your doctor is vital.
If you notice any of the signs, don’t be embarrassed and make sure you speak to your GP.
The five red-flag symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
- A change in your normal toilet habits – going more frequently for example
- Pain or a lump in your tummy
- Extreme tiredness
- Losing weight
Tumours in the bowel typically bleed, which can cause a shortage of red blood cells, known as anaemia. It can cause tiredness and sometimes breathlessness.
The NHS says: “See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for three weeks or more.”
Ons betaal vir u stories!
Het u 'n storie vir die nuusblad The Sun?