I had not been feeling well for a couple of months, tired, lost weight, feeling sick, and then I had 2 episodes of rectal bleeding, the second worse than the first. I went to my GP, after having done some research. I wanted a referral for a colonoscopy. My GP was initially hesitant to refer me on as he thought it was possibly only haemorrhoids, I knew this wasn’t correct. I had blood tests and I was referred to a general surgeon for a colonoscopy.
A week after the colonoscopy, the specialist looking after me told me I had bowel cancer low down in my bowel and it appeared the rectum was also involved. Arrangements were made for a flexible sigmoidoscopy and a CT scan.
I had a bowel cancer test in November 2006 which came back all clear, therefore when symptoms started occurring in February 2007 I ignored them, at the age of 57, blamed my new job, the change of lunch hours etc. Initially the symptoms were changes in my bowel habits, rectal bleeding with froth and bubbles. Eventually the symptoms started to get serious, with some stomach pain, a heaviness in the back passage and generally feeling uncomfortable. In September 2007 I couldn’t ignore any of this any longer.
My name is Barbara and I was first diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2015, three days after I turned 60. I am the youngest of six children, mum and dad lived till 85 and 91 respectively and there is no record of any cancer in my family history.
I had been experiencing some bleeding, but both my daughters had had the same and were both given a diagnosis of colitis, so I thought I would be told the same. I also had blood tests done which indicated NO bowel or ovarian cancer! It was therefore a great shock to be given the “Big C “ news.