It is your life, your illness, your body
There's no denying it, for even the most positive of people, being diagnosed with cancer will come as a terrible shock. Many bowel cancer patients describe everything being 'a bit of a blur' after they are told.
If possible, it is important not to make hurried decisions about what happens next during your initial consultation with your specialist.
You will need to take time to consider what you have been told and to seek support from family and friends. You will also need the support and understanding of your clinical nurse specialist to help you understand what your needs and preferences are likely to be, as part of your treatment and care plan development.
When you are ready to move onto considering treatment options, the most important thing to remember is that you have a variety of choices to consider.
Certainly, your medical team are the experts in the disease but it is your life, your illness, your body.
Don't be rushed into making decisions before you've had a chance to reflect and don't be frightened to ask about anything you don't understand.
Be confident to ask about the choices available to you, and seek a second opinion to gain more information before making any decisions.
Download Bowel Cancer Australia's Treatment Options Matrix and Bowel Cancer Australia's Bowel Cancer Treatment Flowchart which provide a summary of what your might be, according to your own individual diagnosis.