In April 2010, I suffered a huge amount of bleeding when I went to the toilet. I had no warning signs – it just happened out of the blue. It was so bad that I went straight to the emergency ward at the hospital. I think they thought it was just haemorrhoids so I was given a DRE (digital rectal examination) and the doctor took some blood and sent me home.
My name is Angel, I'm 37, married and mum to a 20-month-old little boy Hudson. I have stage 3b bowel cancer.
My symptoms first showed when I became pregnant with my little boy. I was 35, fit, healthy, basking in the joy of a much wanted first pregnancy which had come about after surgery to clear a complicated case of endometriosis......
I was 38 years old when I was diagnosed with stage 3B bowel cancer. I started losing my hair, so I went to the doctor to check if everything was ok. I was extremely iron deficient, so the doctor suggested I start taking iron tablets. The doctor also suggested I increase my red meat intake, which I did to 3 times per week.
After knowing my father was diagnosed with bowel cancer in his 40’s, I was always told to ensure I screen early because my risk was higher. I screened for a long time before I was diagnosed, having one very small malignant polyp (stage 1) in 2012. The polyp was removed, and I was told I required surgery to remove the affected surrounding bowel. I had a stoma for a period of time, which has since been reversed.