56-year-old woman, who is now recovered stage 4 bowel cancer patient, explained how doctors dismissed her sluggish feeling and swollen stomach signs as menopause. She decided to speak publicly and reveal her story in an effort to raise awareness and encourage other cancer patients to fight till the very end regardless of their health condition and difficulties they face.
C. Guy is a 56-year-old mother of two who noticed the first health problems in the summer of 2019. According to Newsweek that recently reported about Guy’s case, she felt sluggish and noticed that her stomach was swollen. She initially googled the symptoms and she found out that many people who had the same symptoms in the past were later diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Worried about her health, the woman decided to visit an out-of-state doctor and she outright asked him if she had bowel cancer and he said no. The doctor further explained that her symptoms and signs were menopause-related. She felt relieved at the time, but the symptoms she was having for months continued in the upcoming period.
One night she woke up with severe pain and her stomach was again swollen. She had no options left, but to visit a doctor again. “I was in pain walking, I looked seven months pregnant, and I woke up one night and was violently sick. I just felt horrendous,” Guy recalled, whose youngest daughter was also with her at the time.
She was nothing but devastated in January 2020 when she was told that her initial fears were correct as she was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer and was given just three or four months to live after the cancer had spread to her liver and ovaries. The x-rays scans, MRI and blood tests results, all confirmed that her bowel cancer had progressed to a point of no return.
Guy then asked doctors “Am I going to die?” as the surgeon had told her husband it was “very bad”, adding: “You’re looking at three to four months.” She was told to “steer clear of Google”, and said it was “like something from a Carry On film” as her shocked daughter, Gabriella, required oxygen following the devastating news.
Taking into consideration the fact that Guy was suffering from stage four cancer, doctors classified the disease as inoperable and incurable, but despite their prognosis, she decided to undergo a chemotherapy and a targeted drug. Nine months after the initial diagnosis, Guy caught Covid-19 and had to spend the isolation period home alone, but even that didn’t break her and she continued fighting the cancer.
She was happy and sad in the same time when she underwent news screenings shortly after recovering from Covid-19. The scans showed the tumor had reduced in size and she likely had two more years to live, but she was “heartbroken” as she added: “I didn’t want to hear a timescale, I was doing really well. I continued with the fortnightly chemotherapy and Cituximae.”
“I had a pump fitted and I’d go away and have chemotherapy for 48 hours at home. It’s been a long hard process, but I have never had my treatment stopped,” she added. And the staff were absolutely marvelous, they were under tremendous pressure. Nurses that should’ve finished were still there hours after their shift had ended, because they can’t just walk away when machines are bleeping and patients need attention.”
Guy remained completely dedicated with the chemotherapy. The chemo had slow, but positive effects and the cancer eventually shrunk enough to allow for surgery. Doctors removed part of her bowel and performed a full hysterectomy – and then following a histology and other tests they confirmed she was in remission. She was speechless when doctors told her that she was cancer free after the surgery and the treatment. “It’s a miracle,” she said to them.
Guy will be regularly monitored by oncologists on a three-month basis in the next five years. She wants her ‘miracle’ story to encourage everyone and make people fight regardless of what they have been diagnosed. Guy said that she now feels fearless because ‘nothing can be as bad as being told you have a cancer that is incurable and terminal.’