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I hope my boys grow up to be brilliant men – I’m dying of bowel cancer at just 36 so I’ll never know

DRIVING to work, Adam Cattermole was suddenly overcome with a sharp, searing pain in his stomach.

The dad-of-three, 36, was forced to pull into motorway services where he was doubled over the steering wheel in agony.

It was the final straw after three weeks of putting up with recurring stomach cramps.

Adam, from Littleover, Derbyshire, rung his wife Emma to come and get him from the Watford Gap services more than an hour and a half away.

When she finally reached him she decided it was time to see a doctor so they turned onto the M1 and towards Derby Royal Hospital.

On August 16, medics carried out an MRI and noticed a problem with his bowel so he was sent for an emergency CT scan, which confirmed the worst.

Adam had a tumour the size of an apple in his bowel - and the cancer was terminal, having already spread to his liver and lymph nodes.

Fewer than one in ten people survive bowel cancer if it's picked up at stage 4, but detected quickly, more than nine in ten patients will live five years or longer.

Early diagnosis is key, which is why The Sun launched the No Time 2 Lose campaign - to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease, to empower everyone to check themselves.

Aside from stomach cramps, Adam says he didn't have any other symptoms that would make him concerned.

'What did I do wrong?'

Writing in his online blog, Adam explained in his own heartbreaking words the questions running through his mind.

He said: "I’ve been through the whirlwind of emotions; could I have spotted it earlier? Probably not as I didn’t have any symptoms.

"Why did it choose me? Why does it choose anyone you selfish man.

"What did I do wrong? Who knows if you did anything wrong, I doubt it works like that.

"The list can go on and I think of a new one every other day, but they’re the negative thoughts that I have to deal with on a daily basis."

Adam, who has three young children - six-year-old Harry, Jacob, four, and 17-month-old Rosie, also revealed the moment in his world "unfurled".

He said: "The nurse sits down on my bed, I’m alone with a surgeon I’ve only just met. The curtains are drawn around me, it's just me and her.

"Time slows down, I can hear the seconds on the clock. TICK TICK TICK.

"When she opens her mouth to speak, I almost know what she’s going to say before the sounds pass her lips.

"Her eyes look directly at mine, as she says: 'We’ve found a mass in your bowel, this has spread to your liver, lymph nodes and peritoneum that we can see. There are no signs of anything in your lungs, I’m so sorry to have to tell you this at your age'.

"It almost washes over me, my mind tries to cling onto anything it can, that I have to tell my wife of four years, my best friend of 10 years."

Adam has since had an ileostomy - surgery to divert the small bowel through an opening in the abdomen - and a stoma bag, while awaiting chemotherapy.

'I'll never seen them grow up'

In his most recent heartbreaking post, after being discharged from hospital, he writes: "Lying down in bed looking out the window at the beautiful blue sky, the wind moving the green leaves and branches.

"Hearing every bird call, seeing every movement of nature, downstairs the two boys (6 and 4) playing.

"How long will I hear that for? Will they understand? I hope they grow up to be brilliant men. I’ll never know now.

It’s such an evil disease, it takes away your future, your dreams, your life

Adam Cattermole

"I’ll never see them in all their school plays, watch them take up a sport, rub their knee when they’ve fallen over, kiss their head when they’ve banged it, see their first girlfriend...

"Comfort them when they break up, jump for joy at their exam results, wave them off to university, have the first pint with them, wave them off to their new job...

"Put them through driving lessons, buy their first car, tell them to behave when they go on holiday without me and Emma...

"Listen to them sneaking in after being out with the friends we disapprove of, hearing how they’re moving in with someone, getting married, having children of their own, being a granddad.

"It’s such an evil disease, it takes away your future, your dreams, your life.

"Then my youngest, she’s only 17 months - a smile that can brighten a room, a giggle that is infectious.

"Determination for anything she wants, so I know she’ll go far.

"I have all of the same thoughts as I do with the boys, but the worst one is WILL SHE REMEMBER ME?

"She may only have pictures to remember me by. That breaks my heart, my little girl not having a father figure in her life to show her how she should be treated by men.

"I want to see her start school, see her in her uniform, skipping around like I know she will.

"I want to see her being loved, possibly married, (never know with the next generation), hold her hand."

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Since her husband's diagnosis, Emma has started a fundraising page in order to raise money for a specialist cancer treatment to extend his life.

So, far they've raised £37,000 - but they may need as much as £400,000 for potentially life-saving treatment.

To read more of Adam's diary entries and follow his journey you can check out his blog.

And to donate visit his GoFundMe page here.

The Sun's Deborah James tells Lorraine viewers to 'check poo for signs of bowel cancer'

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