In November 2019 my younger brother Stephen passed away. He had bravely battled with bowel cancer from his diagnosis in late 2018. Stephen’s diagnosis was a massive shock to my family. His death continues to leave a huge gap in our family, reminding us frequently of what really matters in life. Stephen’s bowel cancer diagnosis was also a wakeup call for me personally because not only was I eighteen months senior to Stephen, I had been suffering from the classic early symptoms of bowel cancer. Up to Stephen’s death, although I had a suspicion that something wasn’t quite right, like many men it would simply bug me for a short while then I would forget about it. It took the death of my younger brother and my wife’s insistence to shake me out of my complacency and into doing something.
Following my brother’s passing in December 2019 I was persuaded to visit my GP to discuss my symptoms. In truth I was both reluctant and somewhat frightened particularly after the GP referred me to the specialist team at The Yorkshire Clinic.
My journey towards recovery began with a meeting with one of the Consultants at The Yorkshire Clinic. Although naturally concerned at the time the Consultant recommended that I have a colonoscopy to determine if my symptoms required further investigation and possibly treatment. The procedure was explained to me with genuine consideration and care. Although feeling a little fearful of the unknown, many of these fears were allayed by the caring nature and professionalism of the Consultant and also his support team.
The day prior to my first colonoscopy was, shall we say, eventful in preparation for the following day. Once I had arrived at The Yorkshire Clinic I was met by the team following which I was offered tea and a full explanation of the procedure was again explained to me. This was in both a considerate and professional manner. I like facts and in particular when they relate to my health. The Consultant and nursing team were both caring and professional.
To my surprise the actual colonoscopy procedure although not one’s first choice for a Tuesday morning was not what I had prematurely feared. Throughout the procedure I was made comfortable, my mind distracted from a procedure which proved to be the first among a few which ultimately saved my life.
Those involved in providing the colonoscopy and later care ultimately played a part in saving my life and preventing my family from losing yet another family member in short succession.
For those folks out there who dread the concept or thought of the colonoscopy procedure all I can say is that I’m here to tell the tale two years later.