SHOCK DIAGNOSIS: Popular athlete in fight of her life
GYMPIE mother of five Kimberley King is a hard-running, rugby union playing, Olympic lifting, cross-fitting, aged care worker who, until recently, did not have time for a cold, let alone a cancer diagnosis.
It started with mild symptoms, feeling uncomfortable in the stomach and a small amount of blood in the stool, but quickly grew into something more sinister.
"It was during rugby finals at the beginning of July last year and I had a really sore stomach,' Mrs King said.
"I wasn't completely with it but I still played a bit of the game."
After noticing blood in her stool several months later, her husband made her go see a doctor.
She was referred for tests and while blood work and the Barium enema came back clean, doctors could feel a small lump.
The investigation continued and she was booked in for a colonoscopy.
While on the waiting list and with her pain increasing, the clock was ticking.
The colonoscopy revealed the devastating reality of her condition on March 23 this year.
A 9cm cancerous tumour.
"From what they can tell, they (doctors) are pretty hopeful," Mrs King said.
At 37, she is considered young to be diagnosed with rectal cancer.
A condition normally associated with the elderly, rectal cancer is often mistaken for haemorrhoids, irritable bowl syndrome, Crohn's disease, or can simply be overlooked until it's too late.
Despite waiting weeks for the correct diagnosis, Mrs King is positive and has not ruled out a return to the rugby field or the lifting platform.
"This time last year I was cross-fitting, weight-lifting and playing rugby," she said.
"But by the time rugby finished I was just so drained.
"I had no energy and I put it down to possibly doing too much.
"I was working, I have five kids and doing three different sports.
"So going from doing that to absolutely nothing I miss it and miss everyone.
"I am always on Facebook messenger telling (my team) I want to come back.
"I have moments like anyone would.
"But I hate calling it a tumour so I am thinking of a name for it.
"I can't afford to be negative. I have five kids and a husband."
Mrs King is due to start treatment this week and will surgery in the near future.