“I know you may feel a bit embarrassed because nobody likes talking about bowel movements, but what’s a bit of embarrassment when it could save your life?” Donna Markland had been suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for nearly four years when she noticed a change in her condition.
But it was three months before mum-of two Donna told her GP about the problem and an examination revealed a lump that scans later confirmed as cancer.
Donna, who lives in Tamworth with partner Michael and children Ellie, 11, and Louis, 5, attended Spire Little Aston Hospital near Sutton Coldfield, where she met with consultant colorectal surgeon Mr Mark Chapman and then clinical oncologist Dr James Good.
“It was decided that I would have radiotherapy and chemotherapy under Dr Good so that the cancer could be shrunk enough to allow Mr Chapman to remove it. Unfortunately a CT scan showed it had by now spread to one of my lymph nodes but Dr Good was confident it could be dealt with,” she explained.
The tumour and lymph node were removed by Mr Chapman in May last year followed by a six month course of chemotherapy at the hospital’s Lakeside Suite, and in January Donna’s year long journey was completed when a CT scan showed she was clear of cancer and in remission.>
“It was the best news I have ever received, I was so relieved. I just wanted to shout it from the rooftops, I immediately started phoning and texting my friends and family to share my amazing news,” said a delighted Donna. “I would like to thank everyone at Spire Little Aston and the Lakeside Suite for the fantastic way I was treated throughout my time there. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone and I was really made to feel special.”
Now she has a message for anyone who thinks they may have seen early signs of bowel cancer: “Get yourself checked out as soon as you notice anything wrong. If I had got checked sooner it may not have spread to my lymph node. Early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment!”
To arrange an appointment with a bowel specialist, please contact us on 0121 580 7119.