Not Dead Yet

Readers could be excused for thinking that I had stopped breathing and gone to that huge blog-o-sphere in the sky. My last posting was on Sunday the 3rd of November. There were only two postings in November and I am pretty sure that is my lowest posting month ever.

As it happens I have been going through some scary times in relation to health. If you manage to make it to 60 then, for about 90 percent of us, around about then you are almost guaranteed that something is going to start to malfunction with a few things here and there in your body. That, sadly, is just how life is. For the vast bulk of us our DNA is pre-programmed for things to start failing at around that 60 mark—whether they be minor or major problems and whether we realise something is failing or not.

My scare was in relation to my bowels, or I think the medical coverall term could be ‘colon’.

About three months ago I experienced a somewhat dramatic change to my number two toilet habits. Initially I dismissed this but as the problem persisted I decided to check in with my GP (general practitioner doctor). He said it could be nothing, and often is, but at my age (as I had not had one) I needed to have a stool test done. The stool test showed up blood in the stool. So the next step was to go for a colonoscopy (i.e., camera up the bum).

At about this point I start to get into some serious worrying. I tend to overthink things and  I determined that I most likely had a bad case of galloping bowel cancer. Even though my GP did a few other checks and informed me that, in his opinion, I looked ‘far too healthy to have galloping bowel cancer’. He also pointed out that only about 1 in 40 follow-up colonoscopies (after detecting blood in the stool) showed up anything of concern and only about 1 in 400 showed up bowl cancer. Also there is no history of bowel cancel in my family and about three quarters of bowel cancer cases are hereditary. Besides which early detected bowel cancer ‘was treatable’.

Even so, I decided to be scared. Very scared. It was around this time that I sort of dropped out. I was barely able to function at work.

The next thing was arranging the colonoscopy and that is a whole other story.

To cut a long story short, in the month leading up to the colonoscopy my toilet routine sort or returned to normal. The colonoscopy, which was 1.5 weeks ago now, did not find anything to be too concerned about although I am still yet to have my visit back with the GP for the formal outcome. However at the clinic the camera doctor did tell me that she didn’t find anything to be worried about and to come back in five years for another one.

As anyone who has experienced a scare like this will probably agree, it does cause you to re-focus what remains of your life a bit. As part of my re-focussing I am going to try and take more photographs. Time will tell if I keep this promise to myself but photography is probably the last thing left that I truly enjoy doing. But for some reason it is just so hard to get out and actually do it.

In the meantime I hope to get back to posting a little more often than once a month.

BarryMark