Whether it’s the way I was brought up or something I’ve adapted to over the years, I’ve never seriously taken into account my health needs. I was never poorly as a child apart from the common childhood illnesses. As an adult I was rarely sick, and at one stage in my life I didn’t even have a GP for a number of years. At some period during 2016, I noticed my urine was slightly pink in colour, but put it down to something I had drunk. During that year at certain times whilst passing water, the colour of my urine became an obvious red. I was unable to go through the day or night without going to the toilet at least every three hours and was slowly losing control of my bladder. I did believe there was a problem, but because there was no pain involved whilst passing water I considered the blood in my urine to be related to my diet and the lack of water being taken on.
Blaming changes in urination habits on age
I put the need to go toilet often down to my age, which was 49. I had no medical advice or evidence to back up this diagnosis and spoke to no one about my situation. I started to drink more water and cut back on any type of processed food. For a while this seemed to work, but inevitably the blood in my urine came back, and now I was convinced there was a problem but still ignored it and kept it to myself. I suppose I felt it would just go away because I was physically feeling strong and able to participate with no ill effects in all my daily duties and sporting activities, which were plenty.
Toilet full of blood
In April 2017, I was attending a football match and had a burning need to pass water. I was parked quite a distance from the public toilets, so I had to hold it until I got to the public convenience. I took to using the cubicles in all public toilets, because I was never sure what colour my urine was going to be and didn’t want anyone to notice the blood if I stood at a urinal. So whilst in the cubicle on this occasion, the horror of what came out of me was shocking. The entire basin was filled with blood. I spent a while in the cubicle cleaning and flushing away all evidence and went to watch the game. The following day I decided to make an appointment with my GP. Needless to say the obvious signs ignored turned out to be bladder cancer.