Bowel Cancer Stories

I originally noticed rectal bleeding in March 2009. At the time I was 27 years old. After a couple of days of blood in my stool I booked an appointment with a local GP. Several days later I attended the GP appointment and the Doctor performed a rectal exam. The Doctor advised me all was fine in the rectum, and said the bleeding was probably the result of hemorrhoids. I was, however, referred to a specialist for a colonoscopy to make sure. I sat on the referral for a week or two and then booked in the colonoscopy.
I had just turned 39 when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer.
I remember thinking, ‘This doctor has me mixed up with somebody else. It cannot be me. I don't have a tumour.
‘I’m fit. I surf. I run. I don't smoke. I’m not overweight.

March 1988: I was 1st diagnosed with a Soft Tissue Tumor called (Rhabdomysarcoma) in my right jaw, I had the tumor removed at Prince Of Wales Children’s Hospital and immediately underwent Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. My doctor Professor Vowels told my parents I had a 60-40 chance of survival and was told if the tumor was going to come back it would do so roughly in about 3-4 years…

Funnily enough exactly to the date in Jan 1992 the tumor re-appeared in the same area as the 1st tumor only this time I had a 90-10 survival chance.

As a 48 year old busy mum of four running a business, I'm afraid my health was not always my first priority.

I’d experienced some symptoms which I’d discussed with my doctor such as abdominal discomfort and low iron levels. However as I had pre-existing medical conditions, these symptoms were attributed to them and with no family history of bowel cancer, no alarm bells sounded.

I was 42 when I heard those three words, ‘You have cancer.’

I was diagnosed with Stage III C bowel cancer.

I had been unwell for a month prior to my diagnosis, at the beginning of March 2016.

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