Katharine Mcauley joins Walk Together in Belfast
Katharine is joining Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together in Belfast as she was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in May this year, at just 36 years old.
I'm walking for Bowel Cancer UK as I was diagnosed with bowel cancer after my tumour perforated while breastfeeding my 12 week old baby.
I had been going to the GP for around two years with symptoms of the disease but had been diagnosed with IBS and haemorrhoids. When I fell pregnant with my little girl Rosie all my symptoms went away and I carried her to full term and gave birth naturally - she is our little miracle!
After I had Rosie my symptoms came back with a vengeance and I also had flu like symptoms so was admitted to my local hospital. It is there I was diagnosed with cancer and transferred to my local hospital in Ulster for emergency surgery.
I had a five cm tumour in my large bowel removed and an abscess taken away caused by the perforation of the tumour. One week after leaving hospital, I was given the official diagnosis of stage 4 bowel cancer with a secondary tumour in my liver. My treatment plan is eight cycles of chemotherapy then if all is well an operation on my liver to remove the tumour, followed by eight more cycles of chemotherapy.
I'm currently undergoing my chemotherapy at the McDermott suite in at Ulster Hospital but hope to finish Walk Together in Belfast with my friends' encouragement and positivity!
I want to raise more awareness especially in Northern Ireland about bowel cancer and how it now affects a lot more younger people. I want to change the attitude of GPs, get screening lowered to 50 and better support groups for young people with bowel cancer in Northern Ireland. I'd like to help Bowel Cancer UK carry on their vital work to beat this disease and help people like myself living with it.
I pray every day I will beat this and see my children grow up and any fundraising I can do to get more research and awareness is going to help younger people with bowel cancer like myself, especially us mums.