A 29-year-old woman admits she missed early warning signs that led to a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis
3 mins read

A 29-year-old woman admits she missed early warning signs that led to a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis

A 29-year-old woman admits she missed early warning signs that led to a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis

Jody Horne urged people not to ignore the common symptoms of bowel cancer

A woman in her 20s revealed she didn’t notice early signs of cancer until she was diagnosed five months later.

Jody Horne, now 34, from Melbourne, was diagnosed with bowel cancer just two weeks before her 29th birthday.

Up to this point she had been happy and healthy, leading a pleasant life downstairs.

She was aware that she felt excessively tired, felt blood in her stools and felt discomfort, but she pushed it aside, not considering that it could be a sign of something more serious.

Just two weeks before her 29th birthday, Jody Horne was diagnosed with colon cancer.  (Facebook/Jody Horne)

Just two weeks before her 29th birthday, Jody Horne was diagnosed with colon cancer. (Facebook/Jody Horne)

Her symptoms weren’t too severe until five months later she suffered a five-hour period of rectal bleeding.

This prompted her to visit an out-of-hours clinic, where the doctor advised her to “go to the emergency room if the bleeding doesn’t stop soon, and if it does, see a gastroenterologist.”

Although the bleeding eventually stopped, Jody made an appointment with a gastroenterologist, who performed a sigmoidoscopy a few weeks later.

Sigmoidoscopy can detect rectal cancer, and Jody’s examination revealed a polyp.

Jody was asked to have a colonoscopy to remove a polyp, but then doctors discovered a tumor.

After a biopsy confirmed the mass was cancerous, Jody was diagnosed with stage 2 rectal cancer.

She told 7Life: “I was young and enjoying life, and then the rug pulled out from under me.

“I felt shocked and numb.

She urged others not to ignore the common symptoms of colon cancer.  (Facebook/Jody Horne)

She urged others not to ignore the common symptoms of colon cancer. (Facebook/Jody Horne)

“It was an extremely depressing experience.”

After receiving the heartbreaking news, she broke it to her loved ones over the phone.

Jody described it as the “scariest” thing when she has to call her parents, family and friends to tell them about her diagnosis.

As part of her cancer treatment, she also underwent a “life-saving” temporary ileostomy during two major surgeries, as well as treatments such as fertility preservation to freeze her eggs for future plans to have children.

Jody added, “Having a family now will be completely different (surrogacy or adoption) from what I imagined it would be like.”

Fortunately, the treatment was successful and Jody is now cancer-free. However, he now urges others to look out for earlier symptoms.

She emphasized: “There is no taboo about poop, it is just an aspect of our health; we need to talk about it more and break the stigma.

“Blood in the stool is never normal. If it is a lot or a little, it is always worth investigating.”

The NHS gives advice on what to do if you experience symptoms of bowel cancer.

Featured photo: Facebook / Jody Horne

Topics: Cancer, Health, News