I’ve just got back from my appointment where I received the results of the genetic testing that was done as a result of having bowel polyps and bower cancer at 36. They tested all of the genes that are known to have links with polyps and Bowel cancer. I was as shocked as the geneticist when she revealed that they hadn’t found any gene changes that would explain why I had polyps or cancer from the genes that were mapped. I felt a sense of disbelief as I was convinced they would find something that might give me an answer as to why I’ve had Bowel cancer so young. On the one hand I should feel pleased that at the moment there isn’t any immediate concern for my family but I feel cheated, of course when you have cancer you want to know why and I’m still left hanging and it’s made me feel quite emotional as now I’m faced with uncertainty.
The key phrase is ‘the genes that we know of’ genetics is very complicated and advances are being made all the time in research. They still strongly believe that it’s likey a gene change has caused the polyps and the cancer but it might be a gene that they just don’t know about yet. Maybe in 5-10 years they will know but that doesn’t help me or my kids right now in trying to understand why all this happened to me. The fact is I had hundreds of polyps in my colon and that isn’t normal and the geneticist agrees.
I feel like it’s somehow my fault, have I done something wrong in my life to end up in this situation? Even if the result had been bad news it would have at least provided me with an action plan and options. Now I am left in limbo and completely paranoid about the future.
I laughed out loud when they said that because no gene change was found the children would be screened from the age of 50 as the guidelines suggest. Fuck the guidelines, I’m sorry but their mother has had Bowel cancer at 36 and you still strongly suspect a gene change somewhere and you think it’s acceptable to make them wait until they are 50. No way, I will fight for my kids to be screened at an earlier age below 30 if I can help it. They’ve agreed to speak to the Bowel cancer screening team about the situation.
There has to be a reason why myself and so many others are getting Bowel cancer at a younger age when there isn’t a family history of that cancer or associated conditions such as chrone’s or colitis. This is why raising funds for cancer research is so vital so we can begin to understand more about cancer and it’s causes and how it can be prevented. I can’t change the fact I’ve had cancer and I don’t know why I’ve had it, I hope that one day I will know as medical advancements are made and that’s why fundraising for these research projects are so vital.