Bowel Cancer Stories


I was 34 when I was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancer.

I had been experiencing some abdominal bloating for only a week or so, and went to see my GP.

As I had been travelling I was prescribed antibiotics to rule out an infection, but after a week I still had symptoms.

After my dad (59) started experiencing a change in his bowel habits he decided to go and see his GP. He had just received his results from the Bowel Screening Kit, which was negative for blood in the stool. His GP thought he had a stomach bug, but decided to send him for a colonoscopy to be sure.
Dad was diagnosed with stage two bowel cancer. During surgery he had a quarter of his bowel removed followed by chemotherapy. Mum and I were with him at all his hospital visits and took him for all his chemo sessions.

Diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 45, Rachael's bowel cancer journey started with a sore back.

I had been to a GP several times in 2012 and each time I was told I had gastro. I had been to another GP several years earlier with suspected bleeding and was told I had haemorrhoids. I began getting sicker more regularly and for longer each time. I went to another doctor with the sole purpose of getting a referral - he was at a medical centre opened in the evening so it was convenient while juggling family and work. This new GP was very thorough and tested for a couple of things before referring me to a gastroenterologist. I saw the gastroenterologist a week later and had a colonoscopy the week after that on the 19th April. The bowel prep made me sicker than I've ever been - it wasn't flushing me out, I was vomiting bile all night.

I had noticed some blood in the toilet for about a month but thought it was due to constipation. I was working fulltime and have four children to look after – being so busy I just carried on and didn't dwell on it. One morning, however, I thought I had diarrhoea but all I could see was a lot of old blood in the toilet bowl. I left my husband with the kids at home and took myself straight off to hospital.Staff at the hospital found evidence of bleeding with no obvious cause. The doctor said he would write a referral to a specialist for an urgent colonoscopy.

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