Bowel Cancer Stories


Towards the end of 2013 I had a pain deep within my bowel only three times, each lasting about 15 minutes. I considered the pain to be quite intense and thought it was hemorrhoids back again as I have two children and had experienced hemorrhoids previously.

I was given a referral from a GP to speak to a surgeon who was 98% sure it was Levator Ani Syndrome causing the bowel to spasm - but recommended a colonoscopy just in case.


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.


Kelly was vibrant 21 years old who loved her family and adored her friends. She enjoyed working in childcare but her passion in life was to travel the world and shopping.

In 2012 Kelly’s dream came true she was setting off to London to travel and work. She set off and found a place to live and found a job at the Elk Bar. Kelly fell in love with London and she loved travelling over to Ireland to see her family that she had never met before.


Life was quite normal, albeit very busy with a young family and a very time consuming career. 

Things changed for me one night when I experienced severe stomach pains after eating a chicken sandwich and immediately self-diagnosed myself with "food poisoning."  The next morning I was severely sick and started to vomit. At this stage I thought I was getting better as I had got it all out of my system.


I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1999 at 36 years of age. Twelve months prior to my diagnosis I had visited my GP and raised concerns about weight loss, rectal bleeding, changes in my bowel habit, stomach pain and feeling tired. My GP told me it was stress-related.

After numerous visits I felt like I a hypochondriac so I stopped going to the doctor to report the same symptoms and accepted it was stress (even though I didn’t feel it was stress related). I was a single mother with two young children so I told myself it was not unusual to feel tired.

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