My entire world changed in April 2015 when, following a colonoscopy, I was told I had a cancerous tumour in my colon. I’d had no symptoms other than a few dodgy looking poos. Slightly redder tissue than normal – I just figured I’d been eating too much steak and drinking too much red wine. However, it was enough to send me to my GP who didn’t suspect anything sinister but thought it wise to check anyway. Rather glad he did.

I was in the operating theatre three weeks later and after a successful surgical procedure to remove the tumour, I was sent home to continue my life – without radiotherapy or chemotherapy (early stage cancer and clear margins!) 

I may sound a little flippant here, and in hindsight, my whole attitude was perhaps a little too laid back. There is no doubt that the three weeks I spent in hospital was the worst time I’d endured in my life. This is no small procedure, it didn’t help that my bowel stopped working; I discovered this when 2 days’ worth of liquid and bile came back up rather abruptly. I ended up being fed through a drip in my neck for a week. I was a mess, being washed and cared for by my poor wife!

But despite the horrific situation, in my head the cancer was out – it was all that mattered – so I was “ok”

Sometimes I wish I had taken it more seriously – if I knew then what I know now…

Graphic and rather unpleasant detail in the video.

That summer was an interesting one; I had had an ileostomy which meant wearing a bag on my stomach for three months. I managed fairly well, learning to sit the wrong way on the toilet, eating very carefully to avoid blockages, and adjusting my golf swing on a family holiday in Portugal. The stoma was reversed, my bowel reconnected, tummy stitched up, and I was once again sent home to continue my life.