Bowel Cancer Stories

My advice to anyone else going through this is to give yourself sufficient time to adjust to the changes in your body. Seek support early. Use every service that is made available to you. Most importantly - be kind to yourself!
After a positive screen test in 2009 at age 50, I was instructed to have a colonoscopy. The procedure in 2010 found a polyp which was removed and as a result, my surgeon suggested I have a further colonoscopy in 2013.

This procedure uncovered a small cancer in the left descending colon.
On a Saturday night, in September 2011, I was supposed to be out with my friends, but stayed home because I had back pain. I called mum because even though I was 25, when I was in pain I needed my mum. My parents were out on a date night, but came home to take me to the hospital. I had never had random pain, and this was intense. After waiting for ages in the ER waiting room, I wasn’t too sure what was worse, the pain or the movie “Hairspray” blasting from the front of the room. When I finally got seen, they did a blood test to check my kidneys. The test came back clear but showed low haemoglobin levels which caused the doctors some concern, but no explanation for the pain. They then ask me 20 questions about my back – have I lifted something heavy, did I hurt it etc.

Almost exactly 3 months to the day before my 50th birthday, I’ve been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

When my father told me 15-20 years ago that he’d had a colonoscopy and had a few polyps removed, I didn’t give it a second thought. I thought, ‘standard stuff’ for a man his age. If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone and asked for colonoscopy at a much younger age.


September 2017, at the age of 46 is the moment in time where my kick ass story began. It is from this point I had to find courage, strength and determination like I had never experienced before to fight and beat Stage 3 Bowel Cancer.


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.

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