Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Colonoscopy......and vodka and cake!?

HERE is a very well written article which shows how utterly preventable and/or treatable colon cancer is. I urge you to read the article or send it that person you love who's hard nosed about getting a colonoscopy....the paragraph below is worth the whole article, but I hope you read the link:

"Everyone who dies does so because the tumor wasn't detected in the first 25 years of its existence," explains Bert Vogelstein, M.D., a cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins University and one of the leading authorities in the genetic foundations of colorectal cancer. "There's a huge window of opportunity to beat this disease." 

(keep reading, I'm getting to the vodka in my headline!! :-)  Your first colonoscopy will show what you're facing.....they'll find a few polyps or not; depending on your age. From then on, YOU WILL KNOW WHAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE FROM. (read that again, it's true, and I made it up!)  The younger you are, the less chance of having any or the better chance of cutting them out in time(they do it right there during the procedure, no need for anything more) and having ZERO to worry about!  If there are a few polyps, you'll get another procedure in five years or whatever your gastroenterologist recommends.

The day before isn't fun......but, it can be easier than some of mine were:  Whatever your doctor tells you to take tell him no unless it's Magnesium Citrate.  Read my lips...TELL HIM "NO, NOT THE OTHER JUNK, GIVE ME MAGNESIUM CITRATE."  I've had two other protocols and you don't want them.   This magnesium citrate, refrigerated, doesn't taste bad at all and does the trick.  The day of the procedure is a piece of cake (and you'll be dying for a piece of cake by then, believe me)..you should be put out and then you wake up and ask "when are you doing it?"   And it's done.

I have a very dear friend who had advanced colon cancer when she was only about 46;  ignore the guidelines of having your first colonoscopy at fifty.  My dear buddy, if she'd been real lucky, would have probably had only two years  to live had they not done that test.  I love her, I had dinner with her last night, and we always celebrate her "how ever many years it's been" anniversary.  I distinctly remember celebrating her five year anniversary with Mr. Z.  Little did we know he'd go before she did.   Last night, we celebrated her 7th healthy year since the cancer.  Fabulous.

She'd probably be dead today had she not had symptoms......and, believe me, once you're having symptoms, you're lucky to live much longer than the colonoscopy and subsequent surgeries and radiation/chemo. 

Don't allow yourself to go through what my dear friend did......and don't allow yourself to die early from a perfectly preventable disease.  Please.

It was my friend's birthday last week.......my card's cover says "Some see birthdays as a glass that's half full....others see it as half empty..........."  Inside, it says "Me?  I see room for vodka. Happy Birthday"   She and I toasted her birthday and her health last night...........because of her colonoscopy.


-FJ said...

ignore the guidelines of having your first colonoscopy at fifty.

As a fellow "under fifty" colon cancer diagnosis survivor... I would recommend that you ignore the age guidelines IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY OF CANCER as well. My mother died of pancreatic cancer at 48, her brother (my uncle), died of colon cancer at 56. My symptoms became apparent at age 48.

Beth said...

I starting needing them in my 20s for a condition I have and they really aren't that bad, better than the alternative! But I totally agree on the Magnesium Citrate!

Z said...

FJ, I'm so glad you agree. Yes, if there's no cancer in your family, you can probably wait till fifty, but I don't recommend it.
You may not need another for 10 years if you're 45 and had the colonoscopy and there was absolutely nothing there, but at least you have peace of mind and a baseline result.
I'm so glad you are a survivor....

Beth, anybody who needs those in their 20s has gone through quite some pain; I'm so sorry about that...I"m guessing, because it's usually very painful conditions, not always cancers obviously, which necessitate that test.

Glad you agree on the Mag Cit..it's so SO much better that I actually don't mind going through it again in five years!
The day before the procedure, when I had to do the virtual fast, I had to take the first bottle at 6pm but I knew I'd fret all day not knowing how the mag cit tastes and I figured "You're going to worry all day even if it isn't so bad, so taste a little bit and check it out so you can stop worrying!" So, at 8 AM or so, I opened that refrigerated bottle and tasted a sip, and didn't worry the rest of the day! It wasn't bad at all! :-) Glad you agree.

cube said...

I hope they're only doing flexible sigmoidoscopies nowadays. Back in the day, when I was working @ a doctor's office, we started out with the rigid sigmoidoscope... yikes!

Bob said...

My cousin's husband died about 7 years ago with colon cancer. He was a great guy, and a genuinely good scientist, a PhD in oceanography.

At our family reunion last weekend, I had opportunity to go over some of his articles of interest. He will be missed for a long time, and there was no reason for his death other than his reticence to have a colonoscopy at age 50.

Spurious Missives

Lisa said...

I had 2 myself no polyps ,def a piece of cake. Not sure hat I had the 2nd time but it sure wasn't gallons like the first time.

cube said...

I must make time to get on the colonoscopy train... not looking forward to it.

Z said...

Bob, I'm so sorry about your cousin; it's learning about deaths like his that could save other lives.
Thanks for sharing that painful story.

Cube, the actual procedure is SO easy.....some people even stay awake for them and say there's absolutely no pain; my doc group puts their patients out and I'm perfectly good with that, though I don't like spending the extra money. I believe it's less costly to remain awake as one doesn't need an anesthesiologist, etc.

cube said...

I would advise everyone to choose the flexible proctosigmoidoscope as opposed to the rigid one.

BTW if Katie Couric can stay awake during hers AND videotape it, I can endure it on my own.

Z said...

Cube, I'm not sure they even have unflexible stuff anymore...and, of course, don't waste your money or your health on a sigmoidoscopy...as you know, that's only part of the way 'up'!!
All I know for sure is I've had friends who were awake and had no problem with it and I've always been put out and like that...I also have had endoscopies at the same time and do NOT recommend that without anesthesia. Actually, I plain couldn't do it without.

cube said...

I would hope the rigid sigmoidoscopes are out of style by now. It's been a while since I worked in a doctor's office.

I am, and have always been, a fan of anesthetics. Whether it be dental work, birth, or whatever procedure, I like to be awake, but heavily medicated.

Always On Watch said...

I hate the prep for a colonoscopy, but the procedure itself isn't even uncomfortable.

No cancer in my family, and I had no symptoms. So I had my colonoscopy around age 55; had to wait because of the car accident that trashed my back.

Scotty said...

I hate the prep for a colonoscopy,

Here's Billy Connolly's version:HERE.

Always On Watch said...

That video is hilarious!


The prep for my colonscopy left me severely dehydrated. Good thing that I didn't drink the entire concoction.