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.