As bonfire night falls, I’m reminded that exactly a year ago I was sitting down with a doctor at Middlesbrough’s One Life Centre to be told that I could have bowel cancer.

It was a strange discussion!

Colonoscopy clip art

Colonoscopy clip art

I had been referred by my own GP Dr Inder Basson for a colonoscopy after spotting signs of blood in my poo.

The colonoscopy involves a flexible fibre tube, with a camera on the end, going where most cameras fear to tread.

As I was recovering with a cup of tea, the doctor came to see me and my wife, Ann.

Samples “might not be benign”

He said he couldn’t be sure but some of the samples he had taken “might not be benign” and he would need to send them for examination. Afterwards my wife Ann and I were slightly confused. On the drive home, she thought it might be nothing to worry about – but I wasn’t so sure!

I find it is best to look on the dark side of life, as things can either be confirmed or turn out better than expected.

Dr Inder Basson

Dr Inder Basson

So, as I blogged in an earlier Cancer-talk Discovering you have got cancer, I was prepared when Dr Basson phoned to tell me some of the samples taken could be cancerous and I would need further tests.

These confirmed that I did have bowel cancer; and as I’ve blogged before I was amazed at the speed things moved: Within days I was having a CT scan and preparing for another colonoscopy the following week.

It has been an interesting year since last Guy Fawkes Night and I intend to write a fuller resumé about a year in the life of a cancer patient, and offer some useful tips for anyone following in my footsteps to help them and their families and and friends.

Mark the anniversary

Fighting cancer is an ordeal, but now I am on what I hope is the home straight with just two months left of post-operation chemotherapy, I thought I should mark the anniversary with a few words.

The key thing is try to remain positive and don’t give up.

I managed to continue working part-time throughout my cancer, albeit from home as I’m a freelance writer, and have a very supportive family.

6 symptomsSo my message today is that if you think you might possibly have something that needs looking at, don’t put it off. It might be nothing serious, but it could be cancer and the quicker the medics start doing something about it, the better!

If you want to read my ten earlier blogs in the Cancer-talk series, they are archived here.

Hope you found the blog useful. Here is the next blog to the series.