Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen 

For me my life didn’t change at 4pm on an idle Tuesday, it was 7pm on an idle Thursday just before Christmas 2016……

I’m the perfect example of a text book hypochondriac, one that immediately think dizziness means a brain tumour, a cough means lung cancer, and blood in the stools means Bowel cancer. However years of CBT has meant that I’ve learnt to rationalise every ailment – including the last year of a change in bowel habbits that I put down to too much wine, a new job and stress of trying to be that full time working ‘super mum’.

If only for once someone believed me earlier that I wasn’t ‘crying wolf’ – when in my normal nervous GP ‘question time’ I tell the doctor I think I have bowel cancer – I’m actually laughed at – not once but 3 times over the course of 6 months! Despite being reassured on numerous occasions that I must have IBS, hemmaroids or worse case colitis, my blood tests and stool sample came back ‘normal’ so everything must be fine! 

And yet I was still losing weight, passing blood, going what felt like 100 times per day and feeling shattered. I knew there was something wrong with me, a sixth sense if you will, because for the first time I was afraid – very afraid about taking this further. 

Fed up with waiting for a referral, Im lucky I was able to take myself off privately to see a colonoscopist. Being so scared however, I made sure I went skiing, had finnished the school term and bumped 3 appointments just because something was telling me this might change everything. 

I was blind sided at 7pm on Thursday 15th December 2016, when having refused the sedative and having researched what cancerous tumours would appear like in a colonoscopy (total hypochondriac geek alert!), I stared my ugly 5.5cm cancerous, ulcerated tumour in the face and everything went silent…..


  1. Hi Bowel Babe,
    Beverley Road (slightly older) Babe here from no. 24! Following you on Twitter and now your Blog, kick this cancer’s butt knowing we’re all rooting for you. #BarnesStrong
    Justine x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello my lovely, following you and your blog on Twitter. My story sounds similar, diagnosed at 36 yrs old with stage 3 bowel Cancer. Mum of two gorgeous children. It’s still early days for me but I am currently well and want you to know this is doable. Good luck and big hugs. Look forward to hearing your progress 💗😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sending you all of our love Deborah and what a great way to share your journey with others. We are all here for you to help you stay strong and keep smiling! X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi BowelBabe
    Sorry to hear your news but you can and will beat this.
    I was diagnosed at 59 in January 15. I had resection surgery in April then 8 sessions of chemo. Had huge party in November to celebrate end of chemo/ becoming 60. Thought that was the end but was diagnosed with lung mets. Another 6 sessions of chemo and I’ve had my 8 week reprieve. Back to see oncologist this Thursday and again I’m petrified. Stay strong and positive……it’s what gets you there. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Deborah.

    Thank you for following me on Twitter. I have followed you back and read your blog. I am what many would call a ‘chemo warrior’ having lived with bowel cancer for over 7 years now. I was misdiagnosed in 2009 twice before I finally collapsed from lack of red blood cells and they finally realised I had an internal bleed, NOT angina. Other nightmares followed and I ended up having to pay to have the cancer removed privately. It was the size of a grapefruit and had started eating into my duodenum. Sadly the cancer returned in 2010 and I was given 18 months to live and prescribed palliative care. Not happy with this prognosis my wife Penny and I sought a second opinion privately and eventually I had a groundbreaking operation during which they removed my duodenum, right kidney, gall bladder and half my pancreas. That was nearly 5 years ago and I have been clear of the disease ever since. The point of my story is that you will need to be brave and strong and never give up.

    Penny wrote a cookery book following her experiences of looking after me called ‘Chemo Cookery Club’. I will be delighted to send you a copy. It is a wonderful book which highlights the benefits of everyday food and has a unique analysis of every recipe in the book giving the nutrient information in an easy and understandable way which enables the reader to target the nutrients they need to cope with the rigours of treatment.

    Penny and I work regularly with Beating Bowel Cancer who are a fantastic charity and worth talking to. They do a wonderful job and are there for you.

    Good luck and feel free to keep in touch.

    Best wishes


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Deborah, Ive just stumbled across your post xxxx our paths crossed some 9 years ago in antenatal classes with babies Number 1 …. But time moved on and life got in the way and we lost touch. I often wonder how you are getting on, and then I see your post.
    I wish you all the strength in the world for your journey. Well done for listening to that fabulous female intuition, and dismissing the “professionals” who made you feel you were a hypochondriac. I think you are utterly amazing for writing about this and I hope you find the strength to carry on writing through the “roller coaster”.
    Lots and lots of love, luck and strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Deborah
    Thinking of you, please let us know when we can help w pick ups, play dates etc – so more than happy to do anything we can
    Clare xx (Alanna’s mom)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are an amazing, strong, positive, brave and resilient person Deborah. You can do this. All our thoughts and prayers are with you. Katie I’m sure will be happy to answer any doctor-related questions you may have or to ask advice. Just about if you need anything.
    Love and kisses, Dave x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Deborah
    Thinking of you after yesterday’s T&L review at MA. The work you have been doing there has been transformative. Anne and I had two sessions with pupils who clearly recognise the great change achieved. Proud of you. Keep strong

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi I have been fighting IBS for years and am now partly paralyzed in the lower parts of my body. I am having another colonoscopy and faster intestinal tests shortly. I hope you are all doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

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