North Rothbury woman Sabrina Rojas publishes book about journey with cancer

CRAZY JOURNEY: Sabrina Rojas shares the good, the bad and the ugly with tears, cheekiness, and laughter in her book "Oh, Sh*t, I Have Cancer".

CRAZY JOURNEY: Sabrina Rojas shares the good, the bad and the ugly with tears, cheekiness, and laughter in her book "Oh, Sh*t, I Have Cancer".

The year 2020 has been an extraordinary one for all of us, due to the coronavirus.

But it's another dreaded 'c' word that that has turned Sabrina Rojas's life upside down in the past 12 months.

The North Rothbury mother-of-two was diagnosed with bowel cancer on November 27, 2019 - just a week before she and her family moved from Sydney to the Hunter Valley.

Sabrina has had a long history of health issues, having been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 19, and having her large intestine removed at 21, but nothing could have prepared her for what was to come.

She has now published a book titled Oh Sh*t! I Have Cancer, which is how she responded when her doctor gave her the news.

Sabrina shares the good, the bad and the ugly side of her journey with tears, cheekiness, and laughter with powerful life lessons and messages throughout - everything from caring for a stoma bag to harnessing your warrior within.

She says having to wear a stoma - which collects the output of the digestive system after the removal of the bowel - was one of her biggest fears.

"After doing my research, I found a lot of young people living with bags," she said.

"There were tears, and fright, but I became calmer.

"If all of these other warriors around the world can do this, I can do this.

"And it's about gratitude - I'm thankful for my body, instead of being frightened of it."

After two major surgeries this year, Sabrina was at her lowest point, until a chance encounter with a medium in a crystal shop at Warners Bay turned her mindset around.

An accredited energy healer since 2012 (practicing on the side of her day job in corporate finance), Sabrina says energy healing has played an important part in her recovery.

"I was a shell of myself, and she told me I needed to 'power up," she said.

"I immediately felt lighter, it was one of those moments in life that change you forever.

"Then I decided to write the book."

INSPIRING OTHERS: North Rothbury resident Sabrina Rojas has published a book about her journey with cancer. Picture: Krystal Sellars

INSPIRING OTHERS: North Rothbury resident Sabrina Rojas has published a book about her journey with cancer. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Sabrina says she hopes hopes her book will inspire people who may be going through a difficult situation or know someone who is.

"I feel like I have been given an absolute card to say 'you can make a difference in the world'," she said.

She also hopes her book will help to raise awareness of bowel cancer, which is Australia's second-most common cancer, and has had a recent increase in cases among younger Australians.

Sabrina was diagnosed at 44, and says she is grateful that her diagnosis was picked up in its early stages.

She said it's important that younger people get tested, a call echoed in a report released this month by social demographer Bernard Salt, which reveals a rising rate of bowel cancer among Generation Xers - notably from age 45.

Between 2006 and 2016, there were around 14,000 new bowel cancer cases in Australians under age 50 - more than half of which were at an advanced stage, when the cancer is harder to treat and survival rates low.

The report, commissioned by Bowel Cancer Australia, calls for the extension of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to include people aged 45-74 (currently 50-74) to provide protection to an additional two million Australians, helping to reduce bowel cancer deaths.

Sabrina will donate $1 from every book sold to Bowel Cancer Australia.

Oh Sh*t! I Have Cancer was launched at Anytime Fitness Cessnock on Monday, and is available on Amazon and Kindle, at Harry Hartog Greenhills, and via Sabrina's website, 222mindset.com.au.

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