In 2011 I was talked reluctantly into having a routine Colonoscopy.

I thought, why do I need this invasive thing? I was overweight but relatively healthy with no symptoms or indications that there was anything wrong with my bowel.

There were, of course, lots of jokes in the days leading up to the colonoscopy with stories of the "woosh" etc.

The nervousness on the morning , the anaesthetic and waking up with the doctor standing there saying I am sorry Mr Palmer you have bowel cancer.

The sheer devastation you feel on hearing those words

Next couple days became a real whirlwind. CT scans, Nuclear Medicine scans, finding a surgeon etc,

Finally SURGERY, on Easter Friday of all days.

Success! They performed a right Hemicolectomy (the right side of my bowel and about half of my transverse colon was removed).

Test results came back, and they seemed to have got all the cancer. It was at an early enough stage that it hadn't seemed to have spread.

Lucky me no chemo, no colostomy bag, nothing except a sore belly. I was one of the lucky ones.

Early detection, minimal treatment and after eight years no evidence of its return. Whoopie! All because of a routine colonoscopy for a non-symptomatic person.

If I would have waited for bleeding to start it may have been too late.

Thanks to my wife and my GP I may not be here writing this today

So get those routine tests done. It may save a life.