The 49-year-old mother says she planned her funeral after doctors told her she had terminal cancer. Luckily, the mother-of-two has made a miraculous recovery and now has the all-clear. The woman said she was diagnosed after experiencing symptoms for over 9 months. Unfortunately, she tried to ignore the symptoms because it didn’t happen all the time, and she failed twice to build up the courage to speak to her doctor about it. “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.” she reportedly said.
According to the New York Post, the 49-year-old mom of two, Tasha Thor-Straten, moved in with her fiancé Russ Parker and their children from previous relationships when she started noticing blood in her stools. Just 3 months later, she was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer.
Thor-Straten reportedly told NY Post: “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.”
In December 2016, Thor-Straten said that the blood loss was so severe she couldn’t ignore it anymore and the doctor referred her for a colonoscopy. The then-44-year-old woman also had an MRI and CT scan.
Thor-Straten reportedly told The Mirror: “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.”
When she got home, she reportedly began thinking about her funeral and started planning how she wanted to be sent off by her loved ones. Luckily, in the next few weeks, she went for more tests and the doctors gave her a little hope.
“After my initial terminal diagnosis, my consultant found that the lesions and lung nodules were not too much of a concern, so I was offered a resection. Unfortunately the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and I decided to undertake chemotherapy. It never occurred to me and I never thought my symptoms could lead to bowel cancer. There was no history of it in my family and I didn’t realized it could affect people my age. I was fit, healthy and took care of my diet, so it didn’t cross my mind that this could happen.” she reportedly said.
The mother of two said that doctors discovered that her lung nodules are not cancerous. The doctors also told her that with surgery, she might make a full recovery
Thor-Straten also said: “I went in for my operation on February 28. They cut out the part of my bowel where the cancer was, which was about a 35mm tumour and then they had to put my bowel back together again. When they were discussing the process with me, the surgeons warned that there was a high chance that they would need to fit a stoma bag during the operation, so I had to mentally prepare myself for it. But when I woke up afterwards, I discovered that they had not ended up needing to do so, which I was very relieved about.”
After the surgery, the mother of two had chemotherapy. She experienced temporary nerve pain in her finger-tips, extreme tiredness, sadness, loneliness and also food cravings for salt and vinegar crisps.
In Aug. 2017, the 49-year-old woman from U.K. reportedly decided to stop having chemotherapy after four rounds. Just few weeks later, she was given the all-clear. Now, Thor-Straten helps people living with life-changing illnesses like cancer.
Thor-Straten reportedly said: “Although I considered myself to be fit and healthy at the time of my diagnosis, my diet has been tweaked since then. I can no longer digest red meat and processed foods. I also steer clear of beans and regularly visit a homeopath and look for ways to improve my gut health. As someone who received the worst diagnosis imaginable, I want to help others along the route as they navigate their journeys.”