Hayley’s Story

Hayley Web

Hayley with her partner and children


I was 34 when I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer, at the time I had a 13 month old & a 5 week old daughter.

I woke one morning with intense stomach pains and after a trip to the GP was sent to hospital with what I thought was appendicitis, I was wheeled into theater expecting to get my appendix out. The surgeon sent me back to my room after he had reviewed my CT scan, it was found to be a lot more serious and that’s when the word cancer was thrown around & my world came crashing down.

Everything from there happened very quickly, I ended up having major surgery 2 days later to remove the right side of my bowel, the surgeon also removed 21 suspicious looking lymph nodes. I was very fortunate that I did not need a bag as the surgeon was able to join the rest of my bowel together. My tumor had perforated my bowel which caused the pain.

It was then a wait for the histology results to find out what sort of cancer & the staging, a week where I was so scared I wasn’t going to see my daughters grow up. A week later we got the results and the surgeon was confident he had removed all the cancer but as the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes it was recommended to do 4 rounds of chemotherapy.

It was the most hardest thing I have ever been through physically & mentally.

I found chemotherapy grueling, and struggled to care for my daughters as I was so sick from it, I was so thankful to my amazing partner, family & friends who held down the fort & supported me through my recovery.

What having cancer has taught me is to be in tune with your body if you feel something is not right get it checked out any symptoms are worth talking to your GP about.

I am now on surveillance with regular blood tests & scans and living life to the fullest and we added a wee boy to our family in September 2021.