I started having fluctuating diarrhoea and constipation, sometimes not going to the toilet for up to five days. I had blood at times too. The doctors said it was from haemorrhoids and not to worry. My stool then changed shape and again I was told that’s nothing to worry about.

It wasn’t until I presented to the emergency department that I was taken somewhat seriously, but even the doctor there still said I was too young and that it would most likely just be haemorrhoids. He did red flag it though and I was back within two weeks having a colonoscopy where my cancer was diagnosed.

A week later on December 20th 2022, I underwent a lower anterior bowel resection. I was so very lucky there was no spread at all, it was just in the one spot in the bowel. I am now under 3 monthly surveillance and learning through trial and error what foods my body will tolerate and what it won’t.

My one piece of advice for others would be to listen to your body.

No one knows your body like you do and you should be trusted, not told you’re too young or it’s something else. No one should be telling you it’s just haemorrhoids without proper diagnosis first.