Young mother-of-two, 38, is tragically diagnosed with stage four cancer

A devastated mother will have to endure regular chemotherapy sessions for the rest of her life after doctors said her early cancer symptoms were related to her pregnancy.

Victorian mother of two, Jolene Anderson, has struggled through 40 rounds of chemotherapy in just 18 months – after being diagnosed with colon cancer after her second daughter, Layla, was born.

It took doctors a year to diagnose the mother, who first complained of paralyzing symptoms, including major bleeding, when she was 16 weeks pregnant.

Jolene Anderson, pictured right, has one dream - to live long enough to watch her children grow up by her husband Shane's side

Jolene Anderson, pictured right, has one dream – to live long enough to watch her children grow up by her husband Shane’s side

But instead, the mother is looking at a baseline prognosis of five years, which includes two weeks of chemotherapy sessions

But instead, the mother is looking at a baseline prognosis of five years, which includes two weeks of chemotherapy sessions

This is the second time the 38-year-old is battling cancer, but this time it was not caught until it was stage 4

She had breast cancer after the birth of her first daughter Chloe at the age of five and was diagnosed with her current cancer after the birth of her daughter Layla

Jolene Anderson battled cancer after the birth of her first daughter and assumed it was the same disease again when she was diagnosed 18 months ago

“I was horrified, at first I thought I had an abortion, but the doctors said it was probably hemorrhoids and not to worry about it,” she told FEMAIL.

But the symptoms at first persisted as crippling cramps, which doctors reduced to ‘too much magnesium’.

Then Jolene started to find blood in her stool, this became a common thing but was rejected again as a side effect of the pregnancy.

The mother, who had previously struggled and battled breast cancer after the birth of her eldest daughter Chloe, now five, decided to trust her doctors.

“I assumed they had taken her previous onset of cancer into account,” she said.

But after the birth of her baby girl, the symptoms continued, so Jolene went back for answers.

Jolene was diagnosed with her second cancer a year after she started going to doctors to complain about symptoms of the disease

Jolene was diagnosed with her second cancer a year after she started going to doctors to complain about symptoms of the disease

‘I was in pain, bleeding and said I probably had IBS. My doctor told me I was going to take fiber supplements for two months and sent me home, “she said.

When they were not working to relieve the symptoms, Jolene went to another doctor, who agreed to do a colonoscopy but told her to wait six weeks as it was not urgent.

Then Jolene found a lump under her sternum – she went to another doctor, who immediately ordered an ultrasound.

The technician told her to go to the emergency room for a CT scan, which explained that the lump was a legion in her liver.

“This made my blood run cold, I thought about my last cancer and assumed it had somehow gone all the way through me,” she said.

She said it is hard not to feel bitter about the late diagnosis

She said it is hard not to feel bitter about the late diagnosis

But it was not related to her last diagnosis. Instead, it was a brand new primary cancer originating in her colon.

‘What I struggle with the most is knowing that there is a simple blood test out there that could have been taken when I was having the big bleeding or in the months I was suffering from paralyzing pain. It would have shown cancer markers’.

“It’s hard not to feel bitter, I should not be Stage 4, but I am because I’ve just been gripped.”

Jolene is now raising money for liver transplant surgery in the United States, the operation itself will set her back $ 625,000 – a small price to pay for a lifetime with her children, she explained.

She also has to pay to stay near the hospital for a month while she recovers, as well as plane tickets to herself and her family.

“This operation has been performed for decades abroad, but is still considered experimental in Australia,” she said.

“That’s my only chance.”

Being cancer free will also mean being chemo free.

Now the mother hopes to go to the United States for a liver transplant that can cure her

Now the mother hopes to go to the United States for a liver transplant that can cure her

‘A life with chemo is a hard thing to consider because it just wears you out. I come home treatment night and just throw myself up, “she said.

‘The girls want to play, but I just want to lie on the couch because I’m so sick.’

Infinite rounds of chemo also mean that Jolene can only work three days a week and that her children are with the babysitter every time she is in the hospital.

Christmas man Shane is ‘very supportive’ and ‘very hands on’ when he’s home – but has a job that takes him a lot away from his family.

Jolene is afraid to leave her young daughters and husband and says she is willing to try anything to stay with them

Jolene is afraid to leave her young daughters and husband and says she is willing to try anything to stay with them

She is looking forward to living without chemotherapy - because the fortnightly therapy wears her out and leaves her vomiting for hours

She is looking forward to living without chemotherapy – because the fortnightly therapy wears her out and leaves her vomiting for hours

Jolene had symptoms for a year before she was diagnosed. She wants others, especially pregnant women, to push harder if they think something is wrong.

‘Free checks start at 50 and it just makes me wonder how many young family lives could be saved if they did it earlier.’

Since her diagnosis, Jolene has met other mothers in the same boat – and says it’s heartbreaking to see this silent killer ‘shut down’ so many mothers in their 30s.

You can help support Jolene by using Go Fund Me or through Rare Cancers Australia.

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