Younger people with bowel cancer


Life just threw me a curve ball!

Hi everyone! After turning 40 at the beginning of June, I didn’t think that being diagnosed with bowel cancer would be something that I would have to deal with. Still, it happened on Tuesday this week. I went for a sigmoidoscopy to investigate some minor bleeding over the past few months. I have had no weight loss, no pain (other than a constant ache over my coccyx since flying to NZ in Feb), only intermittent changes in bowel habits. My doctor said it was more than likely a polyp because I was way below the expected age to see bowel cancer. Turns out he was wrong...

I’m off for my CT scan tomorrow and my MRI next Friday and then hopefully they will have all the results through for the MDT meeting following Monday. It’s been a bit of a blur but at the moment I’m feeling ok...quite upbeat considering. I’m worried about my Mum and how she is handling the news and I’ve told her to join the relatives forum on here to see if the folk there can help her come to terms a little bit.

The first big scary thing for me is to get my cancer staged. I’m terrified that it will have spread. But then I think to myself that surely it can’t have, I feel so well overall! I guess we’ll have to wait and see 😬


Hi @GentleWhisper and a very warm welcome to the forum from me too!

I've been just a little bit distracted over the last few days (I'm the Grandma who delivered her little Grandson yesterday morning!) Thank you for messaging me and mentioning the joy of being a Vet and delivering puppies and kittens. Yes, it's different but such a joy nevertheless!

I'm also sorry to read of your diagnosis. It's really not at all fair and especially at such a young age. The early days are arguably the worst in many ways where imaginations run wild and various thoughts are whirring around in our heads! I guess the advice I'd like to offer is prepare for your first consultation with a list of questions and make sure they're answered. There's nothing worse than walking out and remembering questions you wanted to ask! Just write them all down as they pop into your head. I found a decent paper diary really useful too to jot things down and keep notes of content of appointments etc. Apart from that, keep busy, busy, busy and remember thoughts are not facts!

Please use the forum as after as you like. There's a great bunch of people here who will be more than willing to virtually hold your hand and offer support, information and share their experiences.

Sending all my very best wishes,


P.s. I'll try my best to refrain from asking doggie questions! (I have a little 13 year old Westie with Addison's disease and low grade lymphoma. She's on chemo like me and doing pretty well! 😉


Hi @Baxter2, thanks for the message. I think we can all understand why you have been distracted over the past few days 😊. Sounds like you’ve got your hands full with your dog too...bless her. Glad to hear she’s doing well though. I’ve got my list of questions ready with a new diary ready to fill with appointments, notes, other questions as they pop into my head etc. I may actually be organised for once 😋

Thanks for your support...having read and re-read your profile, you are an inspiration xxx Sending you and your puppy-dog big hugs :x::x::x:


Sounds like you're as organised as you can be @GentleWhisper

Hope you're able to enjoy this lovely weather and keep yourself distracted from over thinking things. That was something I was guilty of in the early days when it all felt like too much!

I'm having my chemo all day today so all settled in front of tv, Ellie (my dog) at my side and shawl knitting waiting to be tackled 😩! Fortunately it's for grandson number 3 due in October!! I've suddenly felt much older with the Grandma title!

Have a nice day if you can.

Loads of love,

Karen 💜💚💛❤️💙


Hi @Baxter2, today has been ok thanks but have felt myself getting a bit grumpy with some of my team...purely frustration on my part because I’m fed up with the waiting. I haven’t told most of them yet because I’d rather have something definite to tell them rather than the what ifs.

Hope you’re feeling ok after your chemo today. I’m glad that Ellie was there to keep you company. Dogs are great company...better than humans sometimes! Lol!

Big hugs :x::x::x:


Hi @GentleWhisper

Getting grumpy and a whole range of other emotions are par for the course I reckon, especially in the early days as you say. It's your call of course but it might just make things easier for you at work if you tell them what you're going through just now even without anything cast in stone?

Chemo was absolutely fine and I feel good. I'll be awake a good bit tonight because of the steroids I expect.

Hope tomorrow is a good day for you!

Lots of love,



MRI done. Consultant radiologist will be at my MDT meeting so results will definitely be in! Now I’m thinking ignorant bliss might be better than knowing...such a coward!

Hope you’re getting every change to enjoy your grandson @Baxter2

Hugs to everyone :x::x::x:


You're no coward @GentleWhisper, trust me!

It's a scary time and one of wondering about 'what ifs' etc. Etc! Try to remain positive and upbeat and make the most of the weekend if you can. Burying my head in the sand is one of my favourite strategies! It works well! Monday will be here before you know it! We've all been there too. You'll get loads of support on the forum and won't be alone with this!

Sending love and all my very best wishes!


P.s. I'm having lots of baby and toddler cuddles this week! I'll need to take a step back I think! 😉


Hi @GentleWhisper,
We all know how you feel but you know, for many, the experience has been that despite the awful worrying and anxiety waiting for those results and all the dark fears (all totally horrible), there hasn't been anything elsewhere. So try to allow for that possibility and also, the absolute fact that bowel cancer is curable if caught early and can even be still cured if there is limited spread. Several people on here are on a curative pathway even though they have some liver involvement. Also, whatever happens, there is really good treatment for this and you will be getting just that. As Karen says, please do your best to allow some hopeful thoughts in.
I was diagnosed in 2011 through bowel screening with no symptoms at all. I did not have any spread and had nothing in lymph nodes so I just had surgery and there was no need for chemo. I did need further treatment in 2012 when I had some recurrence and became stage 4 but I have been clear for 6 years now with no further recurrence. I share my story just to show you that there is every reason to hope, even when things collapse on top of you and the circumstances don't seem good and Karen is absolute proof of that too, as are many others.
Take Heart and stay hopeful! We're all hoping for the best for you!


Quick update...heard back today from my colorectal nurse. They had my MDT meeting today and I’ve got to go in to see the consultant on Thursday to discuss results and the plan. I’ll let you know how things go. Positive thoughts and hugs to everyone 😊 :x::x::x:


Good luck for Thursday, having a plan is just so much better a place to be! :x:


All the best for Thursday, I am sure
You will feel so much better after you have discussed it with the MDT. Thinking about you :x::x:


Don't forget to record the meeting - it will help to be able to listen to it again when you are home as you probably won't be able to take it all in on Thursday - I use the App AudioMemos downloaded for 99p onto my iPad and iPhone. If not recording, make sure you take someone with you who can take notes.


Sending you all good and positive thoughts for Thursday. There will be a plan now and you will feel that you are on the way to kicking this where the sun don't shine!


Hi @GentleWhisper

It's horrible for this to drag on for another few days but let's hope that by Thursday you'll be fully informed and involved ready to kick this 'beep' into touch!

Sending lots of love and very best wishes,

Karen 💚💛💜💙❤️


Thanks everyone! Love and hugs :x::x::x:


So...latest update is that the doctors don’t know what I have! Was expecting my staging and treatment plan today and instead got the random news that the mass they found is possibly outside of my bowel as the biopsies of the mucosa were normal. Ct scan clear for any mets but mri definitely shows a mass in the region of my rectum and cervix. So...the investigations go on but looks like it’s not bowel cancer after all! But...could still be another type so will have to wait and see what happens next. Very odd day. The consultant said that the entire MDT are scratching there heads and now I’ve got both the colorectal and gynae teams in collaboration. Relieved in a way but still worried about the gremlin that’s growing inside me.

I hope everyone is doing ok. Positive thought and hugs to you all! :x::x::x:


Gosh @GentleWhisper, I was just starting to type a message to you when your update popped up!

Well this does all sound very confusing and if the whole MDT are scratching their heads, I'm sure you are too! I really do hope they can work out what's going on with this little Gremlin and get it out ASAP! Looks like your period of limbo continues for now! I hope you're managing to cope ok with all of this uncertainty.

Sending loads of love your way,



@ GentleWhisper,
Sending you hugs and support. I am so sorry about all the worry and everything that goes with that.
Lots of lovexxx


Update! Had my biopsies und r general anaesthesia yesterday. Gynae team said everything from their side so colorectal team took a biopsy of the gremlin via the gut wall. Feeling pretty good today although still in bed at 9 am as though I deserved a little lie in! Surprisingly I have no pain and no bleeding, although we’ll see what happens when I open my bowels next time. The team at the hospital were great yesterday, all very kind and friendly...even a bit of banter with the anaesthetist before she knocked me out! Maybe she didn’t like my jokes! 😂 so it’s waiting time again now but I’ll be in the phone to my colorectal nurse on Monday to get more info. I didn’t see the surgeon after the procedure so just want to see if they have had any more thoughts. I hope everyone is ok and keeping positive through your own journeys. Big hugs to you all :x::x::x:


Hi @GentleWhisper , I am so glad that you are safely through the procedure and wish you a good recovery. take it easy.