The very beginning…

I have thought long and hard about writing this blog about what has happened to me in the last six weeks, to be honest it seems like I’m talking about somebody else, it’s all still a bit surreal.

I spoke to friends and family who all encouraged me to share my experiences in the hope that it might help somebody else who is going through the same tough time as I am.

I can remember the very first time I was in terrible pain, my stomach felt like there were knives inside carving me up. It was the afternoon of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday, I was in tears with the pain and so we went to a walk-in clinic, but typically as I waited to see the doctor the pain subsided. When the doctor examined me he couldn’t find anything wrong, put it down to a virus and prescribed me some diarrhoea sachets.

A few days later my doctor phoned me up, he did sound concerned and told me that if I had the pain again to go and see him straight away, this did worry me a little but as I wasn’t in pain anymore I forgot all about it.

Skip forward three months and we are going on a cruise in America. I wasn’t feeling that great, I had a stomach ache and found myself sitting on the toilet far more frequently that I ever did before. My poo varied from healthy to slimy to containing some blood, but I put it down to stress: preparing for the holiday, getting work done before we went, etc.

I can remember that whilst we were on the plane the stomach pain got worse, I couldn’t face any food and couldn’t concentrate on watching a film or reading a book. For the first three days of the holiday I wasn’t feeling good, sticking to bland food (such a waste with the wonderful food that was on offer), but I felt it would be better for me.

Then the pain stopped and I started to eat the lovely food and I put it down to being able to relax on the ship and taking it easy.

Once home, there was a bowel cancer screening kit waiting for me, I wondered if this was a sign, of course I had Googled my symptoms and also the symptoms of bowel cancer, but I never for one moment thought that was what I had, thinking it would be IBS or maybe even piles.

So I duly did my sample, noting that there was blood in the poo and thinking to myself, “That’s a good one to send them, hopefully they’ll tell me what’s wrong.”

About a week later I got a letter from the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme to say that my kit result showed that further tests were needed. I had to have a colonoscopy to detect if it was bowel cancer or not, or whether it was polyps which would be removed during the colonoscopy.

I had the date of my colonoscopy: 22nd November, 2022, to say I was nervous is an understatement.

12 thoughts on “The very beginning…”

  1. Well done Karen for taking this step in creating your blog for your journey. This will help lots of other people who might be going through the same and hopefully help you deal with your illness too. Always here for you 😘

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Karen, I hope by writing this and expressing your thoughts and fears it will be of help to you and it will definitely be of help to others. Awareness is so important.

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  3. Well done Karen. Husband is going through the same thing. He had no symptoms. Received a test in the post, the shock when that letter arrives. To then have colonoscopy and to be told it’s stage 3 was major. Look forward to your further blogs, hopefully with some laughs. They do happen and also some downs. Take care of yourself. Love and best wishes Ruth xx

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  4. Wow Karen, thanks for sharing. Dad had bowel cancer and I’m high risk. I have regular checks. This blog is amazing as it may help others as well as a off load for you xx

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    1. Karen you are very brave to write about you’re on-going bowel cancer. But you know the whole of you’re family are standing by you .Prayers will be sent to you my lovely cousin until you are on the mend again and I’m sure you will get there You’re blog is an inspiration to many people who are going through the same horrible experience. My love and prayers go out to you Be strong and you will get there xxx

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  5. Well done for sharing Karen, it just may help someone else out, and it may help you get your thoughts in order too. Always here for both of you xx

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  6. I wish the NHS would realize that screening can detect early cancer
    In America everyone is offered a colonoscopy at age 50 this helps with noting if anything is cause for concern, and if so follow ups happen on a regular basis

    No one likes colonoscopies but they do save lives

    Rant over

    Looking forward to reading the words that you are cancer free ❤️

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