Former partner describes Christchurch mum's heartbreaking cancer battle

Naomi Argyle with her two daughters Photo: Supplied
Naomi Argyle with her two daughters Photo: Supplied
A Christchurch man is raising awareness about bowel cancer after his former partner and mother of his two daughters was given just weeks to live.

Naomi Argyle was admitted to the hospital on March 8 with abdominal pain, only to be diagnosed the following day with an extremely aggressive form of bowel cancer that has since spread to her liver, chest, and lymph nodes.

She turned 45 last month. 

The family told Chris Lynch Media the diagnosis has been a shocking blow, with doctors recently updating her prognosis to just weeks. 

Her former partner Scott Ashworth said Naomi is an amazing mother to their two daughters. 

“My girls are about to go through the most traumatic thing and child will have to go through, literally weeks being with their mum and loving life to watching her die,” he told Chris Lynch Media.

Scott said since Naomi’s diagnosis, he’s been made aware of women of a similar age given the same prognosis. 

The National Bowel Screening Programme is a free programme to help detect bowel cancer and is offered every two years to people aged 60 to 74 years who are eligible for publicly funded health care. 

But Scott believes the programme should be available to much young people. 

“I know of at least 10 young women being diagnosed with bowel cancer. This isn’t right and women shouldn’t have to wait until they’re 60 to be eligible to be tested,” he told Chris Lynch Media.

Scott said Naomi’s initially pain felt like your every day stitch and then it got progressively worse. 

In November, Bowel Cancer New Zealand said the disease was not just an old person’s illness.

“Every year, over 3,300 Kiwis are diagnosed with this silent killer, including around 350 people under the age of 50.”

Amid this unimaginable situation, Scott’s family has been trying to make the most of their remaining time together by planning a trip to the Gold Coast, hoping to create lasting memories for their daughters at the theme parks there. 

Scott has set up a Givalittle page to ease the financial burden on the family and to help Naomi create some forever memories with their girls. 

The page has already raised over $35,160.

 Bowel cancer symptoms

Being aware of the symptoms is the first step you can take to prevent bowel cancer. Symptoms may come and go so don’t wait if you have any of these concerns, no matter what age you are.

Symptoms may include:

  • Bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding)

  • Change of bowel motions/habits that come and go over several weeks

  • Anaemia

  • Severe persistent or periodic abdominal pain

  • A lump or mass in the abdomen

  • Tiredness and loss of weight for no obvious reason

If you have any of these symptoms, or you are concerned about your bowel health, see your GP right away.

Source: Bowel Cancer New Zealand.