I was 32yo when I was finally diagnosed with bowel cancer. I say finally as I had been going to the GPs for just over a year with issues.
My bowel motions had changed, and I was finding it extremely difficult to go to the toilet. I would try and go about 10 times a day, but it was excruciating. I loved it when I got diarrhea cause that meant it didn’t hurt to go to the toilet. I would cry every time I went to the toilet, even if I couldn’t go it still hurt.
My name is Martin and I’m a happily married father of three and grandfather of one, working as a General Manager in the building industry. I want people to hear my story so that they understand that bowel cancer can happen to anyone at any time.
I was sent the bowel screen test kit in 2006. I took the test and the results came back negative. In mid-April 2011, I noticed blood in my stools and thankfully I acted immediately. I am normally a procrastinator, but in this instance I acted swiftly. I saw my GP straightaway and was referred to a gastroenterologist. I had a colonoscopy in June and was diagnosed with stage 2 bowel cancer, which had gone into the bowel wall. I had often wondered how I would react if ever I was told of such a problem. I was actually very calm and I guess my practical nature just said….ok, that’s the prognosis, now how do we deal with it? That’s exactly what I said to the doctor.
Unlike many people, I had severe symptoms for some time before I got my diagnosis. For four weeks during the time of seeing my doctor and being diagnosed I had very bad stomach pains and was completely unable to eat.