Bowel Cancer Stories


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.


Over the last 15 months I have learned many life lessons during this chapter of my life. Most of all, I have learned to put my health first and not to procrastinate because it may be embarrassing or require change. Just because it’s your normal, doesn’t mean it is normal. If you don’t feel right, it never hurts to have a conversation.

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.


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.

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