Back at the beginning of October i presumed it was getting near that time and sure enough, the letter dropped through the letter box informing me that my two yearly bowel cancer test was due and could i return the enclosed sample bottle in the enelope provided. Looking at the sample bottle it was a lot less primitive than the first time that i had sent a sample away. This just consisted of a small bottle with a top that had a stick with a little auger bit at the end so that you can just screw it into the waste get your sample and put it into the bottle, plus you only need one go. The last time you had a card which after obtaining your sample using a pallet type stick, you lifted up the plastic flap on the card and smeared your sample on there, plus you had to provide samples over three days. It really didn’t look nice.
Anyway a few weeks had passed and through the letter box drops my sample results. I opened up the letter read it few times as you tend to do as you get older and there it was, your sample is abnormal. To be quite honest i didn’t have a feeling of shear horror and panic, i suppose after the last two and a half years of learning about and dealing with cancer in the family , you just seem to accept these things as they come along. The letter was also quite reasuring as well saying that nine out of ten abnormal results was not cancer.
So they had arranged for me to have a colonopscopy, but first i has an appointment to see a nurse who would go through the procedure with me. Over the last few years Derriford hospital has been like a second home, i was booked into outpatients and on arrival i was called into see the nurse who would run through the procedure with me. As we have found so many times the nurse was lovely and put you at ease immediately. Then it was just a case of answering a lot of lifestyle questions and her explaining what a colonopscopy was. Basically it is having a camera shoved up your backside through your large and small bowel, to have a look to see if there is anything nasty going on up there. She also told me that they would be giving me a little seditive and a little bit of aneasthetic. So happy with everything that she told me of i toddled with some information pamphlets and some sachets of powder that i had to take prior to the procedure. After reading the said pamphlet we arrived at the appointed time to start taking the drink sachets. It was advised that you didn’t stray far from a toilet and boy was it right. I dont think a week on the booze could have gave me the squits like those two little sachets achieved. It got to the point that i thought i could never get up of the toilet again but after a day of starving myself the day before the procedure i can honestly say i was empty.
So the morning of the procedure arrived and my daughter Samantha kindly took me up to Derriford hospital and i checked into reception. I was then directed to a waiting room, which not long after a nurse called me through and again it was a quick chat about what was going to happen, she then asked me to get undressed put on the hospital gown as well as these paper boxer shorts with a great big slit up the back, oh dear i thought. So i got the gear on and then was directed to another waiting room full of other victims waiting to go in. There was one chap in there who just didn’t stop talking through the whole period that i was in there, but he did actually say that he was bricking it poor old bugger. Well i was in there for about fifteen minutes and then got the call to go in. The room was like an operating theatre with a bed and a tv screen to the side of it. The doc told me to climb up onto the bed and he then stuck a cannula in my arm and gave me the seditive and aneasthetic. It must have been very mild because i didn’t feel any different apart from my recently aquired tinnitus went away. I then was told to face the tv screen on my side and of we went. During the whole procedure i think the only thing i felt was a bit of a cold sensation when he first inserted the camera and then a little bit of cramping when he was shoving the camera around the corners and squirting a bit of gas in there to open up the passage, in all honesty i was more intrigued watching the pictures on the tv screen as the camera was up in my bowel. It was so interesting even got a look at the hemorrhoids that give me the major itch and can result in quite a bloodbath sometime’s after going to the loo, ugly little things they are. So the procedure was over quite quickly and they informed me that everything was normal, and i was wheeled out to the recovery room. A cup of tea was provided but all i wanted to do was go to the loo because i had a major bout of wind which need letting go, boy it seemed go on for ever and i think i must have went back two or three times just to get rid of this massive build up of flatulence, after a few hours everything died down and went back to normal, the nurse presented me with some pictures of my bowel and of home i went.
All in all it is not a bad procedure and the good thing is that it will save lives by hopefully catching any abnormal things before they get into a life threatening situation.