Bowel Cancer Stories


As a registered nurse for over 30 years, I understand the value of good health and pride myself in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I see my GP every year for routine blood tests and always attend for routine mammogram when requested. However, when the bowel screening test arrived, I put it in a cupboard until I had time.


Last year my Mum lost her appetite, lost weight, and began to get extreme pain in her stomach after eating.

We used to meet every Saturday for coffee and the changes were very worrying to me.
She had an ultrasound after experiencing constipation due to a tummy bug she’d picked up while travelling.

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 72 – just two weeks shy of my 73rd birthday.

I’d experienced a little bit of rectal bleeding, but initially thought it was nothing and would go away. When it didn’t, I visited my GP who recommended a colonoscopy.


My story and journey started in June 2016 when diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer that spread to the lymph nodes in my pelvis, with secondary metastasis within my liver. I felt at first an emotional numbness, followed by fear and a list of what ifs!

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2008. I was up in Darwin visiting friends on a holiday and came back feeling unwell. I had an upset tummy and diarrhoea but thought it must have been the water up there. When I looked at my stools I saw dark red blood. I did the Faecal Occult Blood test and that came back positive. I was referred for a colonoscopy in late September and that confirmed it. I had bowel cancer. My surgery was scheduled for December. I was in absolute shock. It was just not what I was expecting at all.
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