Following on from the Colonoscopy I had to have a couple of scans to see if the cancer had spread. The MRI scan was at Scarborough Hospital on a Saturday dinnertime (lunchtime if you're southern...) and the CT scan was two weeks later, again on a Saturday, but this time in the early evening. I was quite chirpy as I drove up there to both of them - I already knew I had cancer even though it had yet to be 100% confirmed and what was the worse that could happen here? They were both uneventful, other than me not being able to have a Saturday afternoon pint and whilst not forgetting I actually had Cancer I had pretty much put it to the back of my mind.
Then, when all of the results of the scans, biopsies etc were in I was called to an appointment with my consultant at York Hospital on September 13th. Again, on the drive there I was fairly chipper, I was in no pain, I wasn't losing weight and I was still training down at the gym and felt great. I assumed that we'd caught it in the early stages and a quick operation would sort it right out - still you know what they say about assumption don't you.
Once we'd got there and were called in to see Mr Lim he opened with, 'There's good news and bad news...'
I hadn't really expected bad news as he'd already told me I had cancer.
He then followed this with, ' ...the good news is...'
Again, this was bad, you always start with the bad news and finish with the good to make everything alright don't you...don't you?
'...that it hasn't spread to your lungs and liver. The bad news is that it's very big and we won't be able to operate without trying to shrink it first.'
He told me I'd have a short course of intensive radiotherapy followed by a number of cycles of chemotherapy to that end before looking at me again with a view to surgery. Then he was off and left me in the hands of a CNS named Claire (the third nurse I'd encountered with that name in three weeks!) who told me my diet had to change and gave me a number of leaflets and advice on this new 'Low-Residue' diet I had to embrace.
I'm used to eating lots of fruit, vegetables, pulses, grains and all that other healthy stuff that you're meant to but basically, to avoid blocking or pressuring my bowel, I had to give all that a miss for the forseeable future and eat stuff like white bread, white pasta, white rice, tinned fruit and well...just shit like that.
Driving back I contemplated how my life was about to change and realised it was like going back to my bedsit days in the early nineties. I'd be taking loads of pills, eating crisp sandwiches and sleeping a lot.
Didn't sound that bad to be honest.