Cathy on diagnosis

Close up of Cathy talking.
Close up of Cathy talking.

Before diagnosis, Cathy had a successful career and a happy home life. She suffered from the symptoms of IBS, but other than this, didn't consider herself to have any serious health issues. 

In 2012, she was referred by her GP for a colonoscopy, and was told straight after that she had bowel cancer, but she had to wait several more weeks to find out how advanced it was.

Cathy's story

I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in 1996, so for next 16 years I learned to live with it. All the problems that I had, I just put down to the IBS. Then in the summer of 2012 I noticed some blood in my stools. I heard a radio campaign at the same time which talked about the symptoms of bowel cancer. So as soon as I heard that I went along to my GP – but I wasn't overly concerned.

My GP referred me to the hospital for a colonoscopy. I had that done and straight afterwards I was told I had bowel cancer. I was very shocked. But I had to wait for two weeks over the Christmas period for my CT scan, so for that time I wasn't sure if the cancer had spread. So that was a very, very difficult time for myself and my family. 

I felt really emotional. I didn’t know if my cancer was terminal or how long I had left. I was very uncertain about my future I felt quite lonely and isolated while I was waiting for the prognosis. I wasn't sure what would happen with the family, with the family home, with my children. I felt though I couldn’t really tell anybody, because everybody was being brave for me. So I couldn’t really speak to anybody about it.


Close-up of Cathy looking down.

Watch: all about Cathy's experiences

Watch: all about Cathy's experiences