I am 61 years old and was diagnosed two months after my last birthday. After surgery and histology I was diagnosed at T1 N0 M0.
Finding the cancer was completely serendipitous. I went to my GP mid-August complaining of indigestion and she prescribed some tablets and said I needed to go for an endoscopy to find out if there was anything else happening.
After knowing my father was diagnosed with bowel cancer in his 40’s, I was always told to ensure I screen early because my risk was higher. I screened for a long time before I was diagnosed, having one very small malignant polyp (stage 1) in 2012. The polyp was removed, and I was told I required surgery to remove the affected surrounding bowel. I had a stoma for a period of time, which has since been reversed.
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.
I thought that with two young kids, all my dignity had already been lost and nothing much could gross me out.
Yet it was one good, long episode of rectal bleeding that really made me face my squeamishness and uneasiness with discussing bodily functions.
The bleeding had stopped by the time I arrived at the hospital, when the doctors asked, “How much blood? A teaspoon? A tablespoon?”
I was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancer in 2015, at the age of 31.
At the time of my diagnosis the cancer had already spread extensively to my liver and lungs.
At the time I was diagnosed I had recently returned to work as a Midwife and our little boy was 18 months old.