Health experts and doctors constantly advise that regular medical checkups are key to early detection and treatment of every single disease, even the most serious ones. In addition, no warning symptoms or signs our body shows should be taken for granted and everyone is encouraged to immediately visit their primary care doctors to prevent further health complications.
Now 49-year-old woman did completely the opposite when she decided to ignore several warning cancer signs years ago thinking that what she was experiencing was due to busy life, stress from work and parenting stress since she was fit, healthy, followed a healthy diet plan and there was no history of cancer in her family. Fortunately, she underwent long and exhausting treatment and fully recovered and now speaks out to raise awareness and encourages people not to make the same mistake she had made in the past. In a recent interview, she explained what she went through.
According to the Mirror that reported about this case recently, three months after Tasha Thor-Straten bought new home and moved in with her boyfriend and their children from previous relationships, she was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer and her condition was serious that she even started planning her own funeral. Tasha now admits that ignoring the warning signs for months before her diagnosis was clearly a huge mistake that now serves as a life lesson.
Per Tasha’s claims, then 44 years old, she started noticing blood in her poo, but she ignored the warning signs because ‘she felt too loved to pay attention to the warning sign.’ “I was ignoring the blood in my stools. I didn’t think anything of it and I assumed it was just down to things like work or parenting stress. I went to my GP surgery twice and chickened out on saying anything because I was scared about the process and what might happen next. When I look back on that time, there were other symptoms, such as pain in my stomach when exercising and lower back pain, but I put this down to over-exertion,” Tasha recalled.
These symptoms became so severe by the end of 2016 that she decided to visit her primary care doctor who referred her for a colonoscopy. When the results of the MRI and CT scans were ready, she was called in for her results. That’s the moment when she was left completely devastated when doctors diagnosed her terminal bowel cancer.
“I knew something was going on but I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was,” she said. “The doctor told me that I had terminal bowel cancer, it had spread to my lungs and I was offered palliative care. It was utterly shocking and devastating. It never occurred to me that my symptoms could be bowel cancer. I was fit, healthy and took care of my diet and there was no history of it in my family. To find out that not only was it cancer, but that I was going to die from it was almost too much to bear,” Tasha added.
The results of the tests she made in the upcoming period, however, showed some positive news. Tasha says that in February 2017, it was discovered that the lung nodules were not cancerous. She was re-diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, meaning she was eligible for invasive and potentially life-saving surgery. By the end of that month, she underwent a surgery. Doctors had to take her bowel out in order to remove the cancer, that was about 35mm tumor, and put the bowel back again. The surgery was 100% successful.
The upcoming months were tough for Tasha as she constantly felt extremely tired, sad, she was suffering nerve pain and was experiencing a negative reaction to sunlight and the cold. All of these were awful side effects of the chemotherapy treatment she had to undergo in the upcoming months following the surgery. By the end of 2017, she was given the all-clear.
Tasha recently decided to share her story with the public in an effort to raise awareness and encourage people to visit their doctors more often. Before the cancer diagnosis, Tasha used to work in manufacturing, but she decided to use her experience for good and change her career. Tasha now works as a life coach helping other cancer patients to understand things like how their diet can improve their health during treatment.
“I use my skills to help others who are living with cancer to thrive,” Tasha finished her interview.