My diagnosis

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Hi I was diagnosed with bowel cancer on the 30th may and I am still struggling to come to terms with it is this normal and do you ever get over something like this.

  • Hi Sabs78,

    You are perfectly normal. Everyone is different and responds differently. The simplest answer is "it will take as long as it takes". I realize that's not super helpful. Joy

    For me, I alternate between periods of deep sadness and anxiety and periods of relative calm where it's like I am unaffected by the diagnosis.  I've known people who grieved at various levels almost nonstop for long periods. You will process this in your own way. Trust in yourself. 

    Others will reply and give better information but I can't leave without encouraging you to reach out and get professional help if the grief is interfering with your daily life. 

  • Thank you for your reply will definitely think I need help I hardly sleep etc just worried and scared all the time and keep reliving that day 

  • Hi  Yes of course it’s a shock but it’s also very treatable and although some people don’t like the ‘positive mental attitude’ suggestion, my colorectal support nurse was a firm supporter of the belief that it helped.

    It is early days yet for you and I’m not sure if your treatment has started yet but that can help as you feel like you’re doing something? 
    Please give the support desk a ring on the number below? They’ll have a chat with you and can also tell you about the free counselling with bupa if you feel that would help you?

    Take care 

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Hi Sabs78. I had no symptoms before receiving my diagnosis of bowel cancer in 2022 following a routine medical and FIT test. So, yes it came as something of a shock. However, I have always been a glass of full person and looking for those silver linings has kept me going, even following my Stage 4 diagnosis. I think I can say I am even over the shock of that bombshell because I am determined to live what time I have left well, to keep that glass half-full.

    I’m not sure you get over a cancer diagnosis but by accepting it you can normalise your life. Here’s an example: (for context I am 60 years old) I live in a rugby city and coach one of our two universities women’s rugby team. Towards the end of May was the Sports Award Dinner at which I won Coach of the Year and the team won Team of the Year - we celebrated by going clubbing! The following weekend was the Premiership Rugby Semi-Final, which we won. I bumped into a number of women’s rugby team during post-match drinks, and, guess what, I ended up going clubbing again! (Luckily, I have a very understanding wife.)

    Hope this shows your life going forward doesn’t need to be dictated by your cancer diagnosis.

    All the very best.


  • I was diagnosed in Sept with colon cancer, I'm still in shock and doing chemo since March. I just want my life back but for now, I have to try and beat it. 

  • I think we have to it’s been about 5 6 weeks since I found out and sometimes I sit and look around and think that people think as me as the tough one with being an ex carer and have always been tough but I am struggling to hold it together and as soon as I hear the word cancer I start crying and then I feel stupid and think I need to get over this but I can’t it’s hard.

  • I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis. It is very hard.

    I don't think it is helpful always to try to hold it all together. Cancer is a devastating and life threatening / life-changing diagnosis. All the emphasis that (doubtless well-meaning) people place on "being brave", "being positive", "being strong"can be just another pressure.

    Whatever you are feeling is quite legitimate. it is you --not the other people-that this is happening to.

    The sense of isolation can be truly hard.

    I have found Macmillan Cancer support team can be uesful( depending on whom one gets to speak to).

    But generally speaking,  the support locally here in the north-east is inadequate by any standards. It is much better in the Cambridge, I know. That makes it hard too. A postcode lottery.

  • Hi Sabs

    Perfectly normal....diagnosed with Dukes A bowel cancer in 2017...anterior resection chemo

    Diagnosis for me was surreal.....took a while for it to sink in and then deal with... I got my act together and got on with the other choice....last colonoscopy clear and finally discharged by oncology December 2022

    Take care and best of luck


  • You do not need to beat yourself up and think you need to "get over this". It's a tremendous thing to deal with and no one fully gets over it. 

    I urge you to seek someone to talk to. I understand that macmillian offers some services so I'd think that's a good place to start. (Sorry to be vague, I'm from the US so I don't pay much attention to the services for British citizens). 

    Seeking help is an act of great strength, no one likes to ask for help. But you will find that a professional can help you find a way thru this. 

    Good luck to you.