Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Starting the countdown

Tomorrow morning I will have my second ever colonoscopy, after having eleven inches of my colon removed a little over a year ago. There's more annoyance than dread. I should have had that first proceedure done a few years earlier, but you know how it goes - there was a wedding or too much work or vacation plans. Whatever. I would get it done eventually.

Eventually I was diagnosed with late Stage 1 colon cancer, after surgery and a four day hospital stay.

A colonoscopy is not that bad, folks. Everyone gripes about the "prep," but take away the theatrical exaggeration and it's just a few hours of being tethered to the house. Of course, if you really like to eat, you might disagree.

Yesterday was lunch at Applebee's and dinner at Outback. Today I've had a couple of cups of coffee and the ever popular Route 44 Coke at Sonic's Happy Hour prices. I've taken my first pill, then will drink the first round of magic potion an hour from now, followed by a second round later in the evening.

This summer's magic potion is different from what my doctor used in 2010 and is different again from what Ricky will be drinking on Sunday before his colonoscopy which is different again from what he had to drink four years ago. Last summer, my surgeon prescribed the easiest method - a LOT of powdered laxative dissolved in gatorade - cheap, relatively tasty, effective. How interesting that there are at least five different ways to clean out the pipes.

Have you had your first colonoscopy? If your answer is "yes," and it's been in the last five years, this post is done. If the answer is "no," go ahead and read the next paragraph.

Are you over fifty? Has it been more than five years? (The medical community is in the process of revising guidelines down to five rather than ten years between colonoscopies.) Are you over thirty-five with a family history of polyps or colon cancer? If you have a "yes" answer, then just go ahead and do it. Having some polyps removed now is so much better than surgery and possibly chemotherapy later!

1 comment:

Ricky Balthrop said...

My doctor wanted to also schedule mine for tomorrow a couple of hours after yours, but I wasn't sure you'd be able to drive me home!