Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Get Ready For Your Close-Up

As I write this, I am home from one memorial service and getting ready to attend another one next week.  I realize that as an old fart in his 60's I am at the age where friends and acquaintances of a similar age are starting to, shall we say, shuffle off this mortal coil, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with when it happens.

The point of this brief column is a very simple one.

If you are age 50, or older, and have never had a screening colonoscopy, GET ONE.

Two friends have died of colon cancer and a brother-in-law had a narrow escape this year after much fear and surgery.  None of them had had a colonoscopy when they reached "a certain age."

Is preparing to have a doctor insert a camera up your behind unpleasant?  You bet it is.

Is it inconvenient?  Yes, inconvenient as Hell.  You can't drive for 24 hours after, which means that you not only miss a day of work but a friend or loved one has to take time off as well to be your chauffeur.

Is it worth it?  Completely.  Peace of mind if you have an "All-Clear," and early diagnosis and treatment in the worst case scenario.

In my almost-half-century-long love affair with Crohn's Disease, I have had to get a colonoscopy every two years.  (For you normal folks, it's usually every five years.)  I can tell you that it's saved my life at least twice, with the early discovery and removal of polyps that almost certainly would have become cancerous.  I hate colonscopies, I dread them...and I always do them when it's time.

Don't make the people that love you watch you die from one of the most easily preventable and treatable forms of cancer ... IF it's caught early.

Get a damned colonoscopy already.  (Or whatever other tests are appropriate for your age and/or gender.  See your doctor, get a physical, and get tested, and stop putting it off.  Please.)

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