I had been healthy all my life.
I played sport and rarely needed to see a doctor.
By the time I was 35, however, I had begun to take my health for granted as my life revolved around raising two young children with my wife and working hard to build a career to support my family. I paid little regard to my diet, exercise, or sleep habits.
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.
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.
In 2010, I was 19 and planning my wedding. Unlike most brides-to-be, I was also in and out of the GP’s office fighting with her to take my bowel issues seriously and undergoing a series of tests.
I was extremely anaemic and required weekly infusions over 12 weeks, in the lead up to my wedding.
When a FOBT confirmed positive for blood in my stools, my GP still kept telling me “you are too young for bowel cancer” and that it was a waste of her time to pursue testing further because she was confident it would come back negative.
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.