Cancer grew in­sideme for 15 years!

Sales man­ager and fit­ness in­struc­tor Jo Green, 36, coped with ag­o­nis­ing stomach ache for a decade and a half, un­aware that a rare form of cancer had been slowly spread­ing through her body

Friday - - Health -

Run­ning along the prom­e­nade, I feel the salty sea spray splash my face. It’s early morn­ing and cold, but I don’t mind. I run half marathons and never miss my jog­ging ses­sions with my friend Kim­berly Dou­glas. I love the free­dom of be­ing on the beach so early in the morn­ing, be­fore the rest of the world is up. I also love feel­ing so fit. Now more than ever. I know how im­por­tant be­ing healthy and fit is – in fact, it prob­a­bly saved my life.

I’ve al­ways ex­er­cised. Up to the age of 17 I was a keen gym­nast and took my fit­ness for granted. Af­ter univer­sity, where I grad­u­ated with a de­gree in ex­er­cise and health sci­ence, I worked as a per­sonal trainer. When I wasn’t tak­ing my classes, I was at the gym six times a week, work­ing out.

And then one day, when I was 22, I sud­denly started hav­ing stomach cramps, fol­lowed by di­ar­rhoea. I thought it was a tummy up­set at first, but when it didn’t go away I went to my GP. I was never ill, and wanted to know what was wrong.

She thought I had ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome, but I wasn’t con­vinced be­cause I ate a healthy diet and no one food trig­gered my stomach upsets. The cramps came on, day or night, no mat­ter what I had eaten, with no def­i­nite pat­tern to them them. Cut­ting out wheat made no dif­fer­ence, and through­out my 20s, I started the day with a lovely flat firm tummy I was proud of. By the end of it, I was so bloated, I looked about six months preg­nant.

I was sent for a gas­troscopy – where a cam­era was put down my throat to look into my stomach, but even that didn’t show any rea­son for me hav­ing an up­set tummy ev­ery sin­gle day.

For the next five years, I was at my GP’s surgery reg­u­larly. Most of the time I could cope with the pain, but ev­ery few months, it would build up un­til it took my breath away. I’d shut my­self in the bath­room un­til it eased.

The prob­lem was I never got to see the doc­tor while the pains were at their worst. I tried hard to de­scribe them to the GPs, but they said again

A dream Dubai hol­i­day was marred by my un­ex­plained pain

I had a 23cm in­ci­sion to re­move all the tu­mours

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