Colin, 61, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013. He said: “I’d been peeing a bit more than normal but I just put it down to the cold weather and getting older. Eventually it got to the point where I was going to the toilet so often I thought I better mention it to my doctor.
“I have a couple of mates who have had prostate cancer in the past so it was lingering in the back of my head that peeing a lot could be a symptom of that, but it never properly occurred to me that it would be.
“I booked in to see my GP in March 2013 and explained this, so he gave me a blood test, then I was sent for a biopsy. A week later I was told I had prostate cancer. I was sent for an MRI to gauge how advanced the cancer was. I went into the hospital and there were people there who looked really sick. I felt like a bit of a fraud because I felt completely fine. These people were obviously really unwell, and I thought, I don’t belong here. I feel like there’s nothing wrong with me.
“After the MRI, I went to see the specialist to find out the results. He said the prostate was too swollen for radiotherapy or Bractherapy, so removal was the only option. It was going to be a big operation but it was inevitable, and I felt it would give me the best chance.
“I had my mother’s 80th birthday party and two weddings coming up, and I couldn’t imagine being sick or missing them. It was really strange because the whole time I felt completely normal.
“I went in for my operation on the 23rd July 2013. The tumour was bigger than they had initially thought, and was actually only 2mm away from bursting out. They had to reconstruct my bladder because of where the stitches were situated.
“I was in hospital for three nights, then was sent home to recover. I felt exhausted afterwards and it took a while to get my energy back, but as the months went on I started to get back to normal again.
Colin, who owns and runs the Dornoch Castle Hotel with his wife Ros, continued: “Now, five years on, I’m back to full health. I’m so glad I went to the doctors when I noticed a change in my peeing habits. I hate to think what would have happened if I’d left it any longer. My outcome could have been much worse.
“We welcomed our granddaughter Harriett two and a half years ago, and I’m so glad I’m here to see her grow up and fit enough to keep up with her.
“My two sons recently opened their own business which is doing incredibly well. I’m immensely proud of them and very lucky to be here to see it all happening.
“A lot of people, especially men, can be reluctant to go to their doctors when they’re worried about their health. Some men could have their leg hanging off before they’d contact their GP, but it needs to change. If you’re experiencing any changes to your health or any symptoms you’re concerned about just go to your doctor and get it checked out.
“Chances are it could be nothing, but it’s better to know. I’m testament to how important it is to get these things checked out.