What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Bowel/ Colorectal cancer

What age were you diagnosed?


What has helped you to thrive?

Positive mind set, an amazing colorectal Specialist Nurse, an incredible surgeon & his team and a close number of family and friends that have shown me so much support. 
Together we will fight this 🌈 I will fight this 🌈
I have found Trekstock so useful already and would just like to say a massive thank you for everything on offer on your website. Your YouTube Trekstock talks are so helpful and I can’t wait to dip back into some yoga (I’ve just had surgery so will give myself lots more time to heal) 

Laura's Story

For years I had I had been suffering from bloating and inconsistent bowel movements and was always told it was IBS or dietary problems, I was advised to follow a gluten-free diet but none of the prescriptions or advice relieved my symptoms. The pain in my abdomen became unbearable at times and so I went back to my GP 20th August 2019, once again my symptoms were dismissed but this time refused to leave the surgery until I was given a FIT test. The results from the test were off the chart showing an extremely high reading of blood in the sample and so I was referred for a fast track Colonoscopy. On 7th October 2019 the colonoscopy was done, a tumor was located in the large intestine, biopsies were taken and appointments were booked for scans and surgery to remove the part of the bowel containing the growth and the tissue surrounding it. I was advised that the growth was most likely cancerous.

I had been very unwell leading up to the appointment and I deteriorated very quickly that week. I called the colorectal nurse a few days later and told her that I was not functioning and felt like my body was shutting down. She hung up the phone and went to speak to the surgeon. I was told to come straight to hospital to the Emergency Surgery Assessment Unit where I was assessed by the surgeon straight away. A CT scan showed that the ‘growth’ was causing a near complete obstruction - this explained why I wasn’t able to eat food or hold anything down.

The surgeon operated first thing the next morning (Friday 11th October) and was able to remove the part of the bowel containing what we now know is bowel cancer. They also removed some surrounding tissue that was tested to see if the cancer had spread. After the surgery my surgeon advised me it was definitely cancer and a few weeks later while I was home recovering from the surgery I was advised that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes meaning it was Stage 3c cancer with lymph node involvement and that Chemotherapy was needed.

This diagnosis did not come as a shock to me as I had been naming my symptoms for years and I decided that nothing but positivity will get me though, I felt some disappointment that for years I had told multiple doctors about my symptoms but they were constantly dismissed and I was told 'you are too young to have bowel cancer' despite me naming all the symptoms that come with Bowel Cancer. Know your body - no one knows it as well as you do!

I done my homework and became aware that the chemotherapy I was going to have could lead to early menopause and infertility so I pushed for a round of IVF to be done ASAP.

I had already had a round of IVF in March 2019 after myself and my boyfriend had been trying for a baby for a number of years, sadly I miscarried at 12 weeks.

Knowing what was involved I had IVF again and the embryologists were able to make 4 embryos and all 4 were frozen.

Chemotherapy started 6th December 2019 and is due to finish 15th June 2020...... After this I will have more scans and meet with my amazing Oncologist and Surgeon and discuss the results. All being well I will have clear results and after a year of being chemo free I will be able to discuss fertility and my future..... Embryos, I’m coming for you June 2021, I can’t wait!

My chemotherapy has been tough, it’s been tweaked, changed and cancelled, my treatment started with two kinds of chemotherapy (Oxaliplatin and Capecitabine) but now I have a chemotherapy called 5fu via a PICC line every Monday.

The PICC line was fitted (a wire that runs from my bicep to my heart) as my veins repeatedly collapsed when they tried to cannulate me. I would recommend a PICC line to anyone having chemotherapy, the procedure is quick and pain free and means you don't have to have cannulas in your hands as chemotherapy is done via the PICC line.

The surgeon and his team were nothing short of phenomenal. That day I went to hospital he was running tests and scans on me past 8pm and operated 8am the next morning. He saw me every day that I was in hospital while doing other surgeries and meeting patients. I was discharged six days after the surgery and recovered well at home with the support of my incredible boyfriend, my Mum and Sister that live near-by and a huge number of friends. They were all there for me and still are to this day.

Matty, I couldn’t of done any of this without you, you have seen me at my very worst, taken me too hospital more times than I can remember, sat with me all the times I was admitted and put on drips and held me while I sobbed that it was all too much. Thank you!

To the Big C and Trekstock, your advice and support has been amazing, I have shared some of my hardest moments with the Big C and used Trekstock's link to Headspace to help guide me through some dark days. 

So, I urge you to be heard. I told my GP on the 20th August ‘I have bowel cancer symptoms’ and there it was.... that fabulous response..... ‘You’re too young - it won’t be cancer, here’s a prescription.’ I refused to accept that response and pushed for a test, now I am one of 34 young adults that are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. You are not too young, sadly cancer doesn't care how young or kind you are. Trust yourself - you know your body better than anyone.

Out there in this beautiful world there are people dedicated to working round the clock to help us in these desperate situations, they pass us in our cars, in shops and public places...... be kind! Forgive them when you're sat in the waiting room of the hospital because they are running late. My CT scan was pushed through quickly so those waiting for their CT scan that day had to wait while I jumped the queue and those planned for surgery the next day were cancelled and the surgeon operated on me for 5 hours.

The surgeons, nurses and staff don’t want to be running late for your appointment, skipping meals and missing family time at home - be patient and kind when you wait, we are all busy but try to understand that behind the scenes is someone who is poorly and there is a doctor/surgeon needing the patient to have that scan before you.

They have studied, sacrificed, and dedicated their lives to help people like me in what can be a terrifying time. I am in awe of them and will be forever grateful for everything they done and the incredible level of support I’ve been given. They are nothing short of heroes in my eyes.

*Know your body!!* Speak to your GP if you have any worries. There is so much support out there to help carry you through.

xx Laura xx

You can read more of Laura's story here