When I was diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer in 2006, I was 45 years old.
I am a wife and a mother of three (now 23, 20 & 16 years old) and an office manager.
I had no family history of bowel cancer and I led a healthy lifestyle before my diagnosis, although I was told further along the process that I carry the HNPCC gene, which is a strong indicator of the disease.
I was 59 years old and in fairly good health when I was diagnosed with cancer of the left descending colon stage 3B.
I was a dressmaker and theatrical costume maker working casually from home, teaching dressmaking at evening college and volunteering for several not-for-profit organisations.
After 4 pregnancies, I experienced chronic haemorrhoids which caused some occasional discomfort but had no visible bleeding.