What do people with bowel cancer look like? Surely, they must feel sick even if they don't look sick? Not always and certainly not in my case.
In early 2010, I had been seeing bright red blood in my stools for between four to six weeks before I saw my GP. Because a similar thing had happened after my children were born, the experience wasn’t totally unfamiliar to me. I felt normal and my energy levels were great. Nothing felt unusual or different. It must be haemorrhoids I thought!
"It won't be cancer, you're too young to have bowel cancer"
I received this misinformed advice from my GP after visiting him a number of times to discuss ongoing symptoms I had been experiencing. Sadly, since being diagnosed at age 27 with Stage 3C bowel cancer I have learnt that a number of other young women have had very similar experiences with their own health care professional.
In 2013, I was 37 years old. Overnight I went from being healthy and extremely fit to fatigued. I worked full time (40 hours a week), was the secretary of the P&C, managed my son’s soccer team and ran the household. My husband insisted I was so tired because I was doing so much. I knew this wasn’t the case, as it was a sudden drastic change in my health.