Norwich widow’s cancer awareness campaign after beating bowel cancer

Wendy Cocks from Mile Cross, Norwich supporter of Stand Up to Cancer. Photo : Steve Adams

Wendy Cocks from Mile Cross, Norwich supporter of Stand Up to Cancer. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Widow Wendy Cocks was just getting her life back on track following the death of her husband to lung cancer when she was given the devastating news that she had the Big C.

The 67-year-old from Norwich urged people to not be afraid to raise any concerns they have about their bowel movements after she was diagnosed with bowel cancer five years ago.

The great grandmother, of Gresham Road, said she did not feel ill, but went to see her GP in August 2009 because she had some problems going to the toilet and noticed a trace of blood in her stools.

Mrs Cocks, whose husband Brian died of lung cancer in 2006, had further investigations, which revealed that she had bowel cancer and in November 2009 had the tumour removed.

The former Specsavers opticians worker, who is now retired, said the worst part of the treatment was having to wear a colostomy bag.

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'I had it for nine months and I did not feel female and I did not feel clean and I hated every moment of it and I was working all the way through it. I had to go out with a complete change of clothes because it leaked at times and it was embarrassing,' she said.

Mrs Cocks, who also had chemotherapy, added that she was keen to raise awareness of the condition after being clear of cancer for five years.

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'Bowel cancer is the second biggest killer after lung cancer, but people do not like talking about it. I was just getting my life back on track when I got bowel cancer and I was totally depressed about it. In hindsight I think how lucky I am.'

'I have always been happy go lucky and looked on the bright side of life. You do not know what is round the corner and I live life for the day,' she said.

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