Interview 26

Age at interview: 66
Brief Outline: Screened in 2006, when aged 66. The result of the Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test was unclear. The next test was abnormal. A colonoscopy showed there were some benign polyps, which were removed.
Background: A black Jamaican, a part time engineer (fitter), married, with 5 children.

More about me...

He was invited to be screened for bowel cancer in 2006, when aged 66. The result of the first Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test was unclear. The test was repeated and found to be abnormal. He was then invited to have a colonoscopy. This showed there were some benign polyps in his bowel, which were removed.

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The colonoscopy was not as difficult as he expected it to be.

So can you explain what it was like to have a colonoscopy in as much detail as possible please?

Well after sitting in the waiting room the doctor came to me and assured me of what was going to be done. I was slightly concerned as a human being which naturally anybody would be concerned about it ('). But fortunately the people who were there with me doing the job, they really made me comfortable. And at the moment, I had a West Indian young lady there who was by my head talking to me all the way through and the procedure, the operation was not as difficult as I thought it was. It was very smooth.


More than I expected it to be.

Were you given a little sedative to make you a little sleepy?

Yes I had [laughs], but somehow I stayed awake for it I think you know [laughs].

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His wife helped him with the test because he couldn't face dealing with his motion. Handling his...

Husband' Well the point is when I had the kit and read it, what I had to do, I could hardly face the situation of doing it myself.


Husband' That part of, that department I really don't like too much.

Husband' So without help off the assistant nurse [his wife] with me to guide me through I think I would have made a mess of the kit myself probably.

So what did your wife explain, what did she tell you that you had to do that you might not have done otherwise?

Husband' She talked me through it and says, 'Try and have a go at it,' which I still didn't have a go at it, she did because I was still tickled stomach over it.

Husband' Doing it.

Tickle stomached, that's the word you use.

Husband' Yes I think lots of them will grasp onto that.

Does that mean it turns your stomach thinking about it?

Husband' It does yes.

I see. So how did you manage it then, if she helped you did you put some bowel movement into a pot or did you catch it on paper or what did you do?

Husband' I caught it in paper with my eyes closed [laughs].

You caught it on some paper with your eyes closed?

Husband' And opened them, I didn't make a mess or anything like that.

And then, and then what happened? 

Husband' She proceeded from there.

Oh right.

Husband' Yeah and I disappeared [laughs].

So you passed it over to your wife?

Husband' Yes.

And she managed to put it onto the little widow in the test kit?

Husband' That's right, that's right, that's right.

Oh that's useful to know because I mean you know if you found it difficult other people might find it difficult.

Wife' Mm.

Husband' I definitely found it difficult with me.

Do you think that might've put some people off doing it?

Husband' Possible, that's quite a possibility there.

So it was useful having a nurse in the family.

Husband' Or somebody who's got a better stomach than mine, who could face up to the job.

And did your wife find the instructions quite clear?

Husband' Very much so, very much.

Did you have to make any plans before you went in the
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The laxatives were not a big problem, and tasted no worse than the other medicines he takes, but...

I decided to go ahead.

Now at that stage did the nurse then tell you about how to prepare for the colonoscopy?

She did, and I'd go home for so many hours which was; oh it wasn't that difficult really.

Did she give you the medicine to take home?

She did yes.

And so now would you mind explaining to other people exactly what you had to do to prepare for the colonoscopy?

Well, if I had to stop eating from about 1 o clock the day before and at about 6 o clock that evening I was supposed to take a drink. I don't know what the name of this stuff but it was supposed to help me to, clean my bowels out which it did. I was still going to the toilet at about 1 o clock in the night.

Oh dear.

And I had to have another drink in the morning which she described to me as some people say it's very, what should I say, bad tasting to them but to me it was a normal drink to me because I do take medicine and no medicine seems to bother me really. But then I have another drink in the morning which I think emptied me completely, prepared for my test at about what time was it 2, 2 o clock in the day. I followed all the procedures which she gave me and I go and get a drink, small drink of water.

Just water were you drinking?

I think it was water yes if my memory serves me right.

Did you have to have an enema, or just medicines?

Just medicine, just medicine yeah.

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The nurse explained everything and told him that the results were good. He will have another test...

Husband' I was then called back to the clinic.

Wife' The following week.

Husband' The following week and had the results there and then which was quite, I would say very good, successful, and which I'm quite pleased about. But I was informed that after two years time I will have to go back and have another test and see if there's any further information.

So when you went back to the clinic to get your results what happened exactly?

Husband' I was taken into the room, I sat down with the nurse and she explained everything to me, what was the procedure that was done and the results, and she told me all the results and said that it was very good, the result was very good.

So the nurse gave you the results, you didn't have to see the doctor again then?

Husband' No, no, no.

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