Nicole Yarran was diagnosed with terminal liver and bowel cancer after she was given a routine scan while pregnant with her third child.
The mum-of-three, 32, died in August at the Palliative care unit at Claremont’s Bethesda Hospital in Western Australia, after battling both stage four cancers.
Her last request was to help to make young people aware they could get the disease.
Nicole’s mum, Kathy Narrier, is on a mission to fulfil her daughter’s request.
She told UNILAD:
Nicole’s story began in 2014/2015, she had been feeling unwell and was losing weight dramatically, was constantly bloated and constipated and had blood in her stools.
She had raised her concerns with her GP and was told simply that she was ‘too young for bowel cancer’, and was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, IBS.
Nicole sourced another doctor at the same practice and her opinion was that Nicole was suffering from celiac, neither doctor performed any tests, no ultrasound or blood tests.
Nicole, still ill and battling constant pain and bloating, fell pregnant with her third daughter Alavi and was to have an ultrasound for her pregnancy.
It was only then, doctors discovered eight ‘golf ball-sized’ tumours on her liver.
A specialist from Perth then performed another scan and then on Christmas eve, 2015, Nicole received the news of metastatic colorectal cancer. Three days later on December 27th she started her treatment.
Kathy told UNILAD:
If the Doctor had only listened to her symptoms and requested a stool sample or full blood count, at least they would have found it in 2014, because it was the pregnancy that aspirated the cancer, it literally fed the tumours.
Kathy said Nicole realised all the things she’d be missing out on with her three children but stayed strong throughout.
She told UNILAD:
Nicole was so proud of her daughters, she wanted to watch them grow, and because of her illness she missed out on so much.
She has missed many netball games, school plays, social events, family funerals and her youngest’s first day of daycare and kindergarten, just the little things.
Nicole realised she wouldn’t see Aaylah, who’s five, and Alavis who is 18 months old, attend their first day of school, or Alkeres first day of secondary school, nor see any of them graduate, or enter into their careers or further studies.
She knew she’d never witness the birth of her grandchildren or hear the word Nanna, she realised each birthday would be celebrated with a heavy heart, because the person whom gave them birth is no longer singing happy birthday to them. Just the little things that we all take for granted, my granddaughters will now miss out on celebrating their milestones with the most important person of their lives, their mother.
Finally, Kathy shared the importance of telling us Nicole’s story.
Nicole was a warrior during her ordeal, she got angry at the sight of tears, and yes she hid the majority of her prognosis, it was not until she developed fluid that it became apparent that we were on borrowed time.
I only ask that Nicole’s story is one that highlights the importance for any practitioner to respect the opinions of your patients, that just for once think outside the statistics or written theory that guide your head and listen to what your gut tells you, because more than often, its the first initial gut instinct that is can prevent the negative outcome, and could prevent the death of a loved one.
I am asking for help to share Nicole’s story so that other young women and men that know their bodies and know that there is something wrong. Fight to continually ask for further tests, ask for a second opinions because if you don’t it could literally cost you your life, and no family needs to suffer the heartache of losing a young member of their family.
Hopefully Nicole’s mother sharing her story and experience will save lives in the future.