Interview 24

Age at interview: 76
Age at diagnosis: 66
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with colorectal cancer 1991, under went surgery.

More about me...


He was admitted as an emergency case and was offered no explanation of what had happened for days.

It wasn't a shock as such it was a shock getting into, having to go into the hospital and saying "Right, you're going to surgery." I mean they didn't tell me at that time what the surgery was for, other than to the effect that they were to open up my stomach.

I wondered what it was all about but I was so you know, in pain, that I was glad to get out and get something done about it.

But nobody explained and said' "right we're going to do this, we're going to cut you, we're going to remove a tumour" or what have you. It wasn't until I went back after intensive care, which was about five days, I went from there into the uh general ward and it was then that the consultant came round and told me what they'd done and that there was to be no guarantees.

If, if the consultant or the doctor, the general doctor, I forget now what they call them now in the hospital, had come round and said "Look this is what we've done blah, blah, blah," but that didn't happen to me until the consultant came round when I was back in the day ward, in, in the normal ward and that was after about six days.

He describes his experience of a barium enema.

It's a tube into the rectum and they push it in with air and it does, it is uncomfortable, but it's not painful, it's uncomfortable and you have to lie at different, different angles and the machine itself goes up at different angles.

But there are two nurses there all the time looking after you, they will turn on that side, "Yes, you'll need to turn on this side. You will need to sit up and the thing will go straight up, it'll go back down that way."

And um, the only thing is that after, when they've finished they said "Right, now go to the toilet but hold it within yourself 'til you get to the toilet to get rid of the barium meal."

The difficulty is that as with, when you've got rid of it in the hospital, you think you've got rid of all of it, you haven't, because it was what, about two days, two or three days after that every time you went to the toilet it was lying in the bottom of the toilet like concrete! It was.

Huh, a souvenir.

A souvenir, yes a souvenir that you brought home with you, that's right. But after that it was OK, but there was no problem with it as I say. Uncomfortable yes. Not an experience you'd want to go through everyday sort of thing.

No. But uncomfortable rather than painful?

Oh it was uncomfortable, it wasn't painful as such, no, no.

How long does the whole procedure take?

Oh a couple of hours I think.

A couple of hours of lying on the table?

No, from going into the hospital to coming out, so it, about an hour on the table.

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