Charlotte Kitley Living life with love, laughter and Stage 4 Bowel Cancer

I'm 35, a slummy mummy of two gorgeous kiddies aged 3 and 5, owner of a disobedient black Labrador and wife of a very understanding and patient husband. I (allegedly) listen to too much Take That, can whip up a mean cup cake and am a hopeless, though wildly enthusiastic, dancer.

In 2012, life took an unexpected twist and, rather inconveniently, I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. Following my diagnosis, I’ve had a few operations, 25 rounds of radiotherapy and more than 30 rounds of chemotherapy. Although medically I now fall into the ‘control not cure’ group of cancer patients, I’m determined to live as normal and full life as possible.

And so I have been getting busy living; learning new and random skills such as balloon modelling, fishing, chocolate making and soon, learning to fly a helicopter. I’ve enjoyed precious moments including teaching my son to ski and watching my daughter meet her heroine, Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

I am regularly getting into trouble with my doctors for doing too much. This year I’ve been skiing, snorkelling, cycling, hiking, kayaking, sailing, swimming with dolphins and completing a 5km charity walk the day after being unhooked from my chemo machine (I needed an extra-long lie down that day!).
Whatever I get up to, there is always a smile on my face and a disaster usually lurking around the corner. But, with laughter and love, we’ve got through most things – even my colostomy bag exploding in the middle of WH Smiths (yes, really!) before boarding a flight didn’t dampen my spirits.

Life is for living and I’m loving mine (well, would rather not be spending quite so much time in hospital!). I’m here to inspire others who have been ‘written off’ and encourage them that you should never give up on living your life. You can read about my adventures at