Bowel Cancer Stories


I have suffered from constipation periodically, ever since I was young, so I did not regard it as unusual. My father died of cancer in 1995 in the UK. He told me a few years earlier he had had some polyps removed but he had played down the seriousness of his condition when I spoke to him on the phone. I now know he eventually had open abdominal surgery but still not much more information than that. I had assumed his cancer started in his lungs because he was a pipe smoker.

No one ever told me he had bowel cancer – in the mid nineties I had never even heard of bowel cancer. I knew that my mother had Crohn's disease. When I had constipation, I thought I might have Crohn's too and believed there was no treatment to cure this apart from surgery so didn’t want a diagnosis. 

My whole world changed. It all began the day before commencing a set of nights in August 2015. I went to the toilet as usual and passed what I thought was a bowel motion which in fact turned out to be bright red blood. That was the turning point. I knew I needed to see a GP. This occurred on a Friday and so I booked an appointment to see a GP on the Monday morning straight after finishing my night shift. I felt like an idiot. "I’m perfectly well" I was said to myself, "I’m making this all up, the doctor is going to think I'm an idiot’. I did attend my appointment, definitely not my normal chirpy self, I couldn’t think clearly and the words just didn’t come out as smoothly as they usually did. I was tired, it had been a hard couple of night shifts in emergency. Maybe this was my problem, I was unhappy in my relationship, I was stressed about the wellbeing of my parents, work was tough and I lacked confidence in myself. Maybe these factors were contributing to my change in bowel habit? Hopefully.
Being diagnosed with bowel cancer is tough. You think you are going to die and you quickly start to re-think your bucket list!

The first indication I had a problem was with a bowel motion I had. When I looked in the toilet bowl, it was full of blood. In hindsight, I wish I had taken a photo as I was later questioned repeatedly about the quantity of blood I had seen. There was a lot of blood! I even called my husband to have a look!

I was diagnosed with stage 2b bowel cancer in August 2017 at the age of 39....

During the past few years of my life I always experienced fatigued, stomach upsets and cramping. When I was in my late 20's all my blood tests would show up that I had Coeliac Disease and every time I experience any symptoms I would just put it down to Coeliac Disease. That I either drank or ate something that had gluten in it, that would cause the upset stomachs and pain, it became my "Normal"....


I was diagnosed with Stage 2b bowel cancer in August 2017, when I went to my doctor feeling extremely tired and seeing blood when I would go to the bathroom. For me I thought this was normal, as I had been previously told I could have Celiac disease and summed it up to being Celiac and I had eaten something with gluten.

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