arrow copy Created with Sketch. FightCRC Logo fcc-logo-light

Laurie Bridge

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Rectal Cancer Canada
Back to Champion Stories

Laurie's story

For years I was showing symptoms, but being a young woman, it was easy for myself and my doctors to dismiss it as something else.

Frequently I was told it was probably hemorrhoids. I went on like this for far too long, turning down my one offer for a colonoscopy because I was told it was probably not necessary, and I was uncomfortable with the idea of it.

Almost a year later, my symptoms were getting so bad I knew I couldn’t ignore them anymore. I had done screenings and had exams ruling out other things, so by the time I got back on the list for a colonoscopy, I was pretty sure it was cancer, but I still had to wait my turn.

Eventually I started to get abdominal pain on the upper right side of my body. One morning, this brought me into the ER. There they did multiple tests, including a blood test showing my liver enzymes were high (which didn’t make sense with my lifestyle), then an ultrasound, and then a CT scan.

About eight hours after I entered the ER, I was given the news that it looked like I had colorectal cancer that had metastasized to my liver, ie, stage IV. This wasn’t a shock to me, but the late stage definitely was.

I got rushed into to a colonoscopy the next week, and I was officially diagnosed a week after that. I immediately told my family and loved ones, and to them it was all a complete shock. They hadn’t know how serious my symptoms had been and even though I told them my concerns, they thought I was blowing it out of proportion.

Luckily they quickly got on board and have been such a wonderful support system since.

Treatment included chemotherapy and surgery.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms included rectal bleeding or blood in stool, ongoing change in bowel habits, fatigue, and severe lower back pain.

Side effects

Side effects included fatigue, bowel irregularities, chemo induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), neuropathy, skin rashes (skin toxicity, chemo rash), distress or mental health issues/illness.

Laurie's advice

Go to the doctor. Be your own advocate. Push for the screenings and keep pushing if you’re really concerned. If your doctor isn’t supporting you, find one that will.

We’ve all got this together! The more we speak up and share our stories, the more people realize how devastating this disease is and how it’s becoming more and more common each year. We all have to fight for ourselves and for each other!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Patient/Survivor Stage IV Rectal Cancer

Kristie Reimann

Side Effects, Fatigue, Rectal bleeding or blood in stool, Ongoing change in bowel habits, Narrow stools, Unable to have a bowel movement (bowel obstruction) or constipation, Stomach cramps/bloating/fullness
Patient/Survivor Stage III Rectal Cancer

Ashlyn Carter

Side Effects, Fatigue, Rectal bleeding or blood in stool, Other (please explain)
Family Member of Patient Blood Relative Stage III Colon Cancer

Liliana Bolaños

Side Effects, Fatigue, Rectal bleeding or blood in stool, Ongoing change in bowel habits, Stomach cramps/bloating/fullness, Anemia/low iron