John, Geraldton

Bowel cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma champion

If you think you’re not well, don’t ignore it and seek advice.

John’s story

Former disability support worker John had recently moved to Geraldton from Perth when he began experiencing some unusual symptoms. John had noticed some aches and pains, had become very constipated and felt very lethargic ‘in body and in mind’. Close friends had also noticed something had been amiss for about six months. One day, the pain escalated to the point John collapsed and he ‘came to’ in hospital five days later.

Whilst in hospital, the doctors completed an endoscopy and colonoscopy. Just two hours after his good friend and pastor had picked him up from the hospital; he received a phone call urging him to return to the hospital and later received a formal bowel cancer diagnosis in Perth in July 2017.

John underwent chemotherapy for bowel cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Due to three major blockages, he had almost 30cm of his bowel removed.

John credits his faith and ability to relax as the keys to getting him through this journey.

John’s advice

‘If something is not right, see the doctor first. If you’re not happy with the outcome, go for another opinion.’

 ‘If you think something is wrong, don’t wait for God to heal you. There’s people trained to heal you or help make it easier.’

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Bowel cancer screening

Bowel cancer screening kits are designed for people who don’t have any noticeable symptoms of bowel cancer.

If you don’t have any bowel cancer symptoms and you’re eligible, it is recommended you participate in the free National Bowel Cancer Screening Program for people aged 50-74.

If you do have possible bowel cancer symptoms, it’s recommend you see your doctor, clinic nurse or health worker without delay.

Remember, the earlier cancer is found, the better your chances of survival. So, make sure you participate in free screening at every opportunity and see your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms.