I started experiencing a change in my bowel habits, stomach pains and rectal bleeding in February 2010 so I saw my GP and was sent for blood tests to investigate the cause of the problems. The results came back normal. However, a month later when the bleeding persisted I was referred for a colonoscopy in mid April.
The colonoscopy revealed a 4cm tumour on my sigmoid colon.
As a registered nurse for over 30 years, I understand the value of good health and pride myself in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I see my GP every year for routine blood tests and always attend for routine mammogram when requested. However, when the bowel screening test arrived, I put it in a cupboard until I had time.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 24 years old, just before I was due to leave for Europe with a group of girlfriends after finishing university.
I had experienced some bleeding from my rectum only one week prior to this time, but at the time I really wasn’t too fussed about getting it looked at because I was so excited about my European adventure, and because of my age.