Beating bowel cancer together

Lucila’s first Christmas with her miracle baby

Lucila Camilo, 41 from Ipswich, was diagnosed with bowel cancer whilst pregnant in September 2018.

That Christmas I was so worried about my unborn baby and my future. However, this year I will have my miracle baby boy in my arms.

I’ve always dreamed of being a mum, so when we found out I was pregnant, we were so happy. However it didn’t turn out to be the joyful time I’d hoped. To my utter disbelief I was diagnosed with bowel cancer just three days after.

I was alone when I was given my diagnosis. I didn’t take anyone with me because I was so convinced that I didn't have cancer. Being on my own at that appointment was hard. I was suddenly faced with some huge decisions and when the doctor suggested that we terminate my pregnancy so we could treat my cancer, my heart sank.

In the end we decided that I would have surgery in my second trimester. Surgery day came and I almost died in the operating theatre because of an allergic reaction, but in the end it went well. I was so relieved when my doctor told me he thought he’d removed all of the cancer and thankfully that my baby was fine.

Not long after that I found Bowel Cancer UK and their online community. It was such a blessing to realise I wasn’t alone. There were others with bowel cancer, there were other young women with the disease and there were even a few others who were pregnant when they had it.

After my surgery things went well and my little boy, Tiago, was born in April this year (2019). We’re so happy to have him in our lives.

The enormity of it hit me again after I’d given birth though. I remember thinking what now? I’m not going to see my doctor for more than a year. What if my cancer comes back? There are days when I notice a pain in my tummy and immediately think my cancer’s returned. It’s easy to feel alone in those worries. Those days are when I’m so glad to have Bowel Cancer UK.

But my heart goes out to others this Christmas. For me Christmas is a time to gather together, we always have a full house and I’m so looking forward to having our first Christmas with my son Tiago. Yet I know there are thousands of people who will be going through treatment this Christmas, even more who are worried that their cancer might come back and too many people are facing Christmas without their loved one because of bowel cancer.

I will be absolutely thrilled if you make a donation to Bowel Cancer UK’s Christmas appeal, your support could help make sure others have a space where they can share experiences and get that same support I did.

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