Not many 26-year-old women have to deal with menopause, but night sweats are something Victoria Jackson is already used to.
It all started when Victoria started experiencing episodes of diarrhea and colic after every meal in 2018.
Initially, she did not want to see a doctor, partly because she was embarrassed with her problems with the bathroom, but as the months went by, her condition became increasingly debilitating.
"It was affecting my whole life. Every time we went somewhere, I was always looking for the closest toilet," The Sun newspaper reported .
After about six months, the mother of an eight-year-old son made an appointment with her GP but told her that her problems were due to hemorrhoids and prescribed some cream for treatment.
However, the woman continued to feel pain to such an extent that she could not button her jeans.
Finally, in March 2019, a doctor sent her to a hospital for a sigmoidoscopy exam, where an endoscopic camera was used to view her intestine. In it, they found large amounts of blood in her stool.
"I had been sitting in the waiting room. It was then that I knew it was bad news. The doctor said that he would need to do a biopsy to be sure, as he found a large mass that almost completely blocked my intestine. He said that, in his opinion , it was cancer, "he said.
The diagnosis? Colon cancer , but an MRI and CT scan brought worse news: The cancer had already spread from the intestine to the ovaries and lymph nodes in Victoria.
Her only option was surgery to cut a third of her intestine and do a complete hysterectomy.
"The doctor told me it meant I couldn't have any more children. I think he hoped it would scare me, but I said it was more important that I stay alive for the son I already have," he said.
Soon, she started 12 exhausting cycles of chemotherapy and was warned that her menopause was on the way.
"I didn't know what to expect. All my friends are talking about babies, no one my age has any idea of menopause," she explained.
Victoria also said that she did not know which of her symptoms were due to chemotherapy and which were due to menopause.
"One day I sat in the hospital room during a chemotherapy session, with the air conditioning on full blast, and a nurse came in and said, 'Brrr, here it is freezing!' I was like "really? I'm boiling, the sweat is whipping me" and she said "oh, that will be your menopause" It was then that the "penny" finally fell, "he said.
Now Victoria is on targeted hormone therapy and awaits the results of her latest exam. Meanwhile, she is telling her story to raise awareness of her disease in young patients.
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