A dying father has penned a heartbreaking message to his children after being diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer four weeks ago.
Adam Cattermole, 36, from Littleover, Derbyshire, who is father to Harry, six, Jacob, four, and 17-month-old Rosie has been writing a blog documenting his fears for the future, as he tries to come to terms with his terminal diagnosis.
Of his two sons, he wrote: 'I hope they grow up to be brilliant men. I'll never know now.'
And he shared his fear that his daughter will be too young to remember him, saying: '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.'
Adam Cattermole, 36, from Littleover, Derbyshire, had been experiencing recurring stomach cramps for three weeks before a series of tests revealed that he had terminal bowel cancer
Adam- who is the father to Harry, six, Jacob, four, and 17-month-old Rosie (pictured) was recently told a mass in his bowel had spread to his liver and lymph nodes
Adam had been driving to work when he was hit by a sharp pain in his stomach and was forced to pull up at a motorway service.
The father-of-three, who had been experiencing recurring stomach cramps for three weeks, was then driven to Derby Royal Hospital by his wife Emma where doctors carried out a series of tests.
However on August 16, after undergoing an MRI and an emergency CAT scan, doctors delivered the tragic news that a mass in his bowel had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.
While doctors were able to operate and remove the mass from his bowel, the cancer was not cured and Adam has started a fundraising page, to raise money for a specialist cancer treatment which could extend his life.
Adam's wife Emma (right) has set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise money for a specialist cancer treatment which could extend his life
The father-of-three (pictured with wife Emma and daughter Rosie) is one of around 2,500 people aged under 50 to develop bowel cancer
He is one of around 2,500 people aged under 50 to develop bowel cancer which, according to data from Cancer Research, is more common in people over 85.
Describing the moment his world fell apart, Adam wrote on his blog myyoungbowel.wordpress.com: 'At 7am, a surgeon comes in to my room and that's when my world starts unfurling.
'The surgeon said they'd looked at my MRI and there was an issue with my bowel, so they were going to send me for an emergency CT scan at 3pm. An hour and half after the scan, the same emergency nurse comes in.
'Emma has gone home to get some hospital clothes as I'm still in my work clothes. 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.
'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.''
What is bowel cancer and what are the symptoms?
Bowel, or colorectal, cancer affects the large bowel, which is made up of the colon and rectum.
Such tumours usually develop from pre-cancerous growths, called polyps.
Most cases have no clear cause, however, people are more at risk if they:
Treatment usually involves surgery, and chemo- and radiotherapy.
More than nine out of 10 people with stage one bowel cancer survive five years or more after their diagnosis.
This drops significantly if it is diagnosed in later stages.
According to Bowel Cancer UK figures, more than 41,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK.
It affects around 40 per 100,000 adults per year in the US, according to the National Cancer Institute.
'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.
'I'm going to get you booked in for emergency ileostomy and hopefully remove the mass we've found in your lower bowel along with your ascending colon and part under your liver. You'll then be more comfortable.'
In his most recent post, the father, who has since had an Ileostomy performed to make him more comfortable, candidly discussed the constant questions he was left grappling with regarding his children's future.
Adam (pictured with children Harry, Jacob and Rosie) recently shared a heartbreaking message on his blog myyoungbowel.wordpress.com in which he described the constant questions he was left grappling with
He wrote: '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 (six and four) 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...
'I'll never seen 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'e 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 (I'm crying writing this……hearing them downstairs).'
The father, who owns a small business called Cattermole Electrical, also cast his mind to his 17-month-old daughter and asked if she would remember him.
He continued: 'Then my youngest, she's only 17 months (time moves on a month already) 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.
In his blog the father, who owns small business called Cattermole Electrical, expressed his hopes and dreams for his children
'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. My little girl who at the moment is asleep on Emma's shoulder, my little girl.
'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.
'I still remember the first time I changed my mind about having children. Driving down Ashbourne Road and the school had just finished, I saw a little girl running after her dad, he had his hand outstretched behind him.
'Their hands met and the look they gave each other, that is the moment, that precise time I thought "I want that". Now I may never get that moment. Only time will tell. My Little girl…..how I love my family so much.'
Following Adam's diagnosis, wife Emma has started a GoFundMe fundraising page in an effort to raise money for specialist cancer treatment that could potentially extend her husband's life.
The page can be visited here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/-for-adam-life-2019