For Hollie it took two years to be diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer from her first symptoms. These symptoms were mainly bloating and stomach pains which were thought to be due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. She was also tested for ectopic pregnancy and appendicitis. Even though she insisted, she was refused a colonoscopy because she was considered too young to have one.
However, her pain persisted and she was back in hospital again. When no other causes could be identified, she was sent for an emergency colonoscopy.
The first colonoscopy was abandoned during the procedure because she woke up with severe abdominal pain. The second colonoscopy a few days later found a tumour blocking her bowel. She was told she had bowel cancer. A CT scan showed that her cancer had spread to the liver. A bowel surgeon told her she had a 5 percent chance of survival and they wanted to operate straight away. She had 30 centimetres of her sigmoid colon removed and a port was inserted for chemotherapy.