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It may sound quite alarming to admit that I’ve had my private parts fingered more times by strangers than my own boyfriend recently – Mum look away now! – but I’m glad that he can see the funny side of things and is incredibly supportive of my actions. Allow me to explain why…
No I haven’t cheated, I’m not bored of our relationship and I don’t secretly get my kicks elsewhere in weird ways. Well, not always and it depends on what you classify as weird. You see, I’ve been having a little trouble with my nether regions recently which has involved me seeing and being examined by a number of specialists for multiple ailments in order to find a diagnosis. To start with I saw a private doctor for a WellWoman test – a health MOT if you will – where amongst blood tests, BMI measurements and fitness ability I also had a routine smear test, check one for vaginal probing.
I then visited my GP for an ongoing case of stomach cramps and troubled bowels for which I had an anal examination, check two. From this I have since visited a specialist for a colon check, check three, in preparation for a colonoscopy I’ll be having in a few weeks time – that’s a camera up the bum. Finally, I’ve also been to a fertility clinic to check my womb and ovaries for future family planning, which brings my genital probing up to four.
Now my boyfriend and I are rather competitive people and we constantly bet each other outrageous prizes for taking part in challenges, from bowling and basketball to snooker and weight-lifting; our favourite catchphrase is “the loser gets anal!” Needless to say I lose quite often, some might say on purpose, or perhaps it’s because my boyfriend is unbeatable. But the moral of the story here is that I’ve racked up quite an amount of I.O.U.Anal’s now because bleeding in the back passage has prevented me from repaying my challenge debts and I’m cautious over the interest it may earn.
My boyfriend says he’s “disappointed that the specialists have had more bum action than I have but this will soon change! I’m understanding of her rectal problems and once recovered will take full advantage of her debt!” Which is piling up faster than a Wonga loan on a bank holiday – pun intended. With colon cancer in my family it’s shocking to know that 1 in 14 men and 1 in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime, yet it’s something that we know and speak very little about as a nation. To put it into perspective for every class of 30 children at a school around 2 will go on to have colon cancer later in life, that could mean 10 in a year group and 50 in an entire school. Yet when we think of cancer we often focus on breast and testicular with colon rarely considered nor the symptoms easily understood and identified.
Symptoms of colon cancer include: a change in bowel habits – diarrhoea, constipation or a change in consistency for more than four weeks, rectal bleeding or blood in your stool, persistent abdominal cramps, gas or pain, a feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely, weakness or fatigue and unexplained weightloss for which I have all of the symptoms aside from unexplained weightloss as I’ve always been relatively slim. However many experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, but later on they can vary depending on the size and location of the cancer within the intestine.
And so my diagnosis journey begins and I’m keeping everything crossed for the results to come back negative and for our anal-installments to resume as quickly as possible so that I can get back to kicking (foot)balls and loving life for the blessing that it truly is; never take your health for granted and don’t be ashamed to consult a doctor if you notice something different about your body.