Home    #Auguts    Auguts Stories    Adeline, 44

Adeline, 44

#auguts hard to talk about

I had chemo during the pandemic, I joked it was the best time for it because I couldn’t go anywhere anyway. I’m happy to say I’m now in remission.

When I went to the GP, I remember thinking “she’s going to look at my bum. I wonder if I’ve got my good knickers on?” It’s natural to eat and drink, so it’s natural to wee and poo. I’ve got two small children and we talk a lot about going to the toilet in our house – “have you wiped properly, have you washed your hands?” So why is it different for an adult?

It was August 2019, and I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. I didn’t have any typical symptoms. Some days I was very constipated, others I was very bloated. Sometimes I had diarrhoea. I sometimes had what I call poo cystitis, I would go to the toilet, get up and need to go again straight away. I saw my GP who did a blood test and poo test. Nothing major showed up so I was referred to a gastroenterologist who booked a colonoscopy. They found a six and a half centimetre tumour in my upper rectal passage. I received the formal diagnosis at the end of August and I started radiotherapy and chemotherapy in September.

The tumour had shrunk a lot, but I had a sigmoidoscopy to see what was left and it looked like a spider’s nest. They could biopsy it, but there was a chance of getting a false result because it would be just scraping the surface and not what’s underneath. So I opted to have surgery in February 2020 and have the whole of my upper rectal passage removed. I had three months of chemotherapy over summer 2020, so I was having chemotherapy and home-schooling during a pandemic. I joked that it was the best time to have chemotherapy because I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere due to reduced immune system and there was nowhere to go anyway. I’m happy to say I’m now in remission.

I’m proud I’ve saved two lives directly from my diagnosis. The surgeon suggested my brother and sister be tested in case it was genetic. It’s not, but they found a ten centimetre tumour in my brother’s sigmoid colon. He ended up going straight for surgery then having three months of chemo. My GP saw another patient showing bizarre symptoms, so sent him for a colonoscopy and it was bowel cancer as well. My diagnosis made my doctor more aware of younger people potentially having bowel cancer. That young man is very well now.

If you have a question, ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Don’t live in silence, talk about your fears. The human body is a natural thing with all its ups and downs and doctors have seen it all before. So don’t be ashamed of your body.

Join the campaign. Donate today!

You could help our researchers make the breakthroughs that leads to life-saving and life-changing treatments.

Donate now

Explore the #auguts campaign 2023

#auguts stories

We’re highlighting topics that are difficult to talk about and research that’s hard to fund. Read and watch stories from bowel cancer and bowel disease patients and researchers.


I was born 8 weeks premature with Intestinal Malrotation. My understanding is they weren’t sure what was causing me the pain as a newborn, being premature too. When surgery was eventually done it was found my bowels had twisted. Corrective surgery was done. I was christened in the hospital as it wasn’t looking great.

Talks About:

Read my story


I have diverticular disease on the right side of my body and I believe only a few people have it on this side.

Talks About:

Read my story

Frank McDermott

Mr Frank McDermott is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Cancer lead for the Genomics Medicine Service Alliance in Southwest England. His grant with Bowel Research UK why some patients with diverticulitis experience serious complications such as blood infection, while others have milder disease. 

Talks About:

Read my story

Share your #auguts story

Join the #auguts campaign by sharing your own story via video or the written word! We are looking for videos and stories about difficult conversations people have had about their bowel condition, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, or anything else related. Our Patient and Public Involvement Manager Sam Alexandra Rose has created her own video as an example, which you can see below to give you some ideas.

Your video or written story will appear on our website and be shared on our social media channels. Please include your social media handles if you feel comfortable with us tagging you when we share your story. Videos may be edited slightly, for example by adding captions or putting several videos together, or adding our logo. Take a look at this guide for some tips on filming video on your phone. If you have any questions, email sam@bowelresearchuk.org.

    Please use the field below to attach your story as a word document or video as well as accompanying photos

    Stay in touch
    We may stay in touch with you by post and phone with news from Bowel Research UK, and information about events you might be interested in and other ways your fundraising can support bowel research. For more information about what we do with your data, please read our privacy policy.

    Find out more about #auguts 2023

    We brought some of our patients, researchers and our CEO together to talk about what makes bowel disease hard to talk about and hard to fund. Watch them share their stories and join the campaign.

    Watch the video

    Please donate.
    Let's end bowel cancer & bowel disease.