The First Part of the Story

So, this is what happened.  Five words that I have become familiar with over the past few weeks as I explain to people how I discovered that I had bowel cancer.  So it seems sensible to start this post off in the same way.

So, this is what happened.  I’m fifty and for the vast majority of that time I have rarely visited the doctor and have suffered reasonably good health.  But earlier this year (before I turned fifty) i experienced a few episodes of ‘strangeness’.  Nothing major but just feeling unwell, light-headed, sometimes lethargic and with a few periods when I had mild chest pains.  So I did the big-boy thing and went to see my GP.   After a few tests and scans and the like, nothing really was found wrong and in general the ‘strangeness’ had passed by and I was feeling my usual self.

I turned fifty in March 2016 and one day I was on my way home from work in the car when I suddenly felt the need to poop.  Nothing unusual there as I am well known as a frequent pooper by my immediate family.  In normal times I pooped at 08:30, 11:30 and 14:30 each day, as regular as regular can be.  But over the next couple of days my timings were all awry as was the consistency of my bowel movements.  This continued, poop, poop, poop, but I though it was just a bug I had picked up somewhere along the line.  On a couple of occasions I noticed bright fresh blood in my poop, but I dismissed this because I was occasionally sitting and straining as my bowels worked their magic.

colonoscopy camera
A colonoscopy camera (tiny isn’t it!)

Things – my pooping – didn’t improve, but like many middle-aged men I was reluctant to take a trip to the doctor.  However, I had an appointment scheduled for a final chat about the ‘strangeness’ that had afflicted me earlier in the year and whilst I was in the GPs office I mentioned my pooping.  My doctor thankfully expressed some concern and suggested that it would be a great idea for me to have a colonoscopy or in laymen’s terms for a medically trained practitioner to stick a GoPro camera up my bum and shoot a short video of my colon and intestines.  Just to be sure there wasn’t anything untoward going on up there.  After all, and this is a direct quote from my GP, “you’re no spring chicken any more”.

Andrew Williams

50 year old, living with his colon and bowel cancer and all that that entails. Quietly sweary, family man living in Somerset, UK.

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