Thom on diagnosis

Image of Thom fishing
Image of Thom fishing

Being diagnosed with colon cancer at 27 came as a terrible shock to Thom. 

He was young, with a healthy lifestyle, and he thought he just had a persistent stomach bug.

Thom's story

The day I had an appointment to go and find out my test results was the exact same day that I got rushed in for emergency surgery.

It's beyond reality really. Especially when you're a 27-year-old guy, perfectly fit, never really been ill before. I've got a good diet, no family history, I don't drink or smoke too much and I exercise a lot. My surgeon actually told me that I was probably the worst possible candidate.

When you get symptoms you automatically assume that it's not going to be something bad. And, do you know what, when you find out, if it's not something bad then great, but if it is something bad, the sooner you sort it out the better.

I thought I'd contracted some sort of stomach bug and it was persisting and persisting. A visit to the doctor’s resulted in tests for Crohn's disease amongst other things. 

I was meant to come in to get my results and they went, 'Yes, it's not good. You’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer and now you're going into surgery.'

It took a few minutes of the doctor explaining for it to actually kind of sink in. I was rushed into emergency surgery the same day.

It was such a big shock I didn't have time to think about it. And the next thing I remember was waking up, looking down and I had... a long scar or a long cut down my front that was being held together by 29 titanium staples.

After I woke up from surgery... you go through a variety of kind of strange experiences. You get all this information thrown at you about prognosis.

You're waving your little flag saying I'm in desperate need of some help here, and Macmillan comes with that very base line of, yes, that's exactly what we're here to do.

Watch: all about Thom's experiences

Watch: all about Thom's experiences