Help Literacy Hub

Chanel’s Story

My story began mid-May 2022. I was 37 years of age, and with very mild symptoms, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.

I was at the time my son had just started Prep, my partner was embarking on the first year of setting up his own business and I was a few months in working from home at a new job.

My world went into a spin of appointments, scans, blood tests and I was into surgery within 2 weeks of diagnosis.

I wasn’t allowed to drive for 4 weeks so had to rely on family and friends to get me around. I then started my first round of chemo.

I would have chemo fortnightly and didn’t feel great. Being a busy Mum I didn’t have time to stop and rest – I had to accept help (which I am forever grateful for).

I set up my Gather My Crew app.

My friends cooked me soup, walked my dog, helped with pick ups from appointments, school pick ups for my son and taking him to swimming lessons. I even set up pick ups and drop offs for chemo.

I loved it as I didn’t have to “ask” people for help each time. They just accepted the things they could help with in the app.

I had 12 rounds of chemo in total. My first operation was a bowel resection. In October 2022 I had 80% of my liver removed and my gallbladder. In total I was hospitalised for about 2 months. My immune system was weak, I caught every germ my son could harvest at school.

In early March 2023 I had my last round of chemo. I am currently in remission. I am closely monitored by my health team.

I am forever grateful for those who helped. Even those who didn’t physically help, the emotional support was everything.

I hope to use my experience to help others, cancer can be a lonely road.

It’s hasn’t been easy but my crew have been great.

I’m also preparing for more surgery so will fire up the app again. It was really helpful and meant no one got burnt out from helping me out.

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