The day before the colonoscopy I had to take some laxatives to clear my bowels, not that there was much in them as I hadn’t had much to eat in the previous few days. The Screening Programme sent me a package containing sachets of Klean prep to be taken at 9 AM, midday, 3 PM and 6PM with one litre of water.
I managed to force down the first lot, but at midday the thought of drinking another litre was frankly vomit inducing. But, I tried and every mouthful came back up much quicker than it went down. This wasn’t gonna happen, so I phoned the Screening Programme to explain what was going on. The lady informed me that there was another product I could try which was called MoviPrep and that it was more palatable than Klean, not a lot, but a bit. I was willing to try anything at this point and so she said she would bring it round to my house, which was unbelievably kind of her.
So, after some advice to dilute it with a juice (not blackcurrant) and drink it through a straw, I powered through and managed to complete the course of treatment.
The next day I arrived at Southampton General Hospital, said goodbye to Phil and ventured up to the Endoscopy Department. After filling in a questionnaire about my health (I had already gone through this via a telephone call a couple of days before), I was led into a room.
After signing a waiver in case anything went wrong, a cannula was inserted and I was taken to the treatment room.
I think it struck me there and then when I was laying on the treatment table that this could be serious. They asked if I would like to watch what was happening and I said that I would, so they moved the screen closer to me.
I watched and all seemed to be going well until I noticed a change in the atmosphere, things got a little serious and they moved the screen further from me, I guessed things weren’t as straightforward as I’d hoped.
After the colonoscopy I was taken to a recovery ward where one of nurses said to me that the doctor would like to speak with me and my husband about his findings. I knew then why this was and I laid in the bed staring blankly in front of me, dreading the moment when I saw the doctor.
We were led into a small room where the doctor, the lady from the screening programme and a Macmillan nurse were waiting for us. My heart sank as I saw the Macmillan nurse, confirming what my suspicions were. The doctor pulled no punches, he told us they had found a tumour and he had done this job long enough to know that it was cancer. They were sending off a biopsy but he was going to go ahead and get things in motion as there was no point in waiting for the result of the biopsy.
The doctor and the lady from the screening programme left and we were sat with the Macmillan nurse, I looked at Phil who was in tears and I started to cry as well, we couldn’t believe it was happening.
The Macmillan nurse was super supportive, explaining next steps and handing us some brochures, reassuring us and answering any questions we had.
We left the hospital in a bit of a daze, knowing that the hardest part was still to come – telling our children and family and friends what we had just found out.