Friday, March 26, 2010

Hello? Hello? Is This Thing On?


Can you see me up here? I've just jumped up on my soapbox. I won't take up a lot of your time, but listen up, because what I do have to say is important.

I've made no secret of the fact that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. I've been singing that tune for the past four weeks. I've devoted each of my Wordless Wednesdays not to my adorable nephew or my brilliant terrier or even a glimpse at my own gorgeous mug, but to this thing here ...
... with the admonition to get your : looked @.

Clever symbolic syntax aside, I mean it. Get your colon looked at. 

While the editor in me shudders at that sentence construction, the cancer warrior in me thinks it can't be stressed enough. Now I know you can't just waltz in and say to your friendly neighborhood gastroenterologist: "Hey dude! Wanna take a peek up my poop chute?" No. Of course not.

But you can do this: Educate yourself. Learn your family history. Each cancer has its own set of risk factors, and colon cancer is very familial. The fact that your uncle was diagnosed in his late 40's may not mean a damn thing to you. But it will give a good doctor pause — and, hopefully initiate more questions.

As it did for mine. 

I am only 41 years old, and in my early 30's I thought a colonoscopy was something I wouldn't have to even think about for another 20 years. When I was 50, as is recommended for routine screening.

Six years later, I have had three colonoscopies and four polyps removed. One so large, if it had hung around in there, neither it nor I ever would have made it to 50. Or even to 41, for that matter.

I learned tonight that the 41-year-old husband of a friend of mine is having 75 percent of his cancerous colon removed tomorrow. I learned yesterday that a dear friend of mine, only 42-years-young, has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, a complication of the genetic condition that caused her colon cancer. I have spent the past three months working with the family of a beautiful, vibrant woman diagnosed at the age of 37. I wish I could tell you I've been working with her, but she's no longer here.

Ass cancer isn't sexy. There's no way around that. We've got "Feel Your Boobies" and "Save The Tatas" but there's no way you're ever gonna see a shirt that says "Peek At My Pooper" or "Save The Sigmoids." It's embarrassing, it's uncomfortable and it's, well, gross. And people don't want to talk about it.

Which is why I won't stop.


  1. I did finally get mine done last year and I'm good, passed the test!
    Now... I just have to see if the Ins. Company will approve my next CT. They're playing games with me. I think I cost them too much money. Never a dull moment.

  2. I had one done four years ago and got the all-clear. You're right--no one likes to talk about this test at all, but it is important.

    Just next time when I have it I want to be completely put under, because the drugs they used on me were not enough. That was absolutely the most painful thing I ever did--three childbirths didn't even come close!

  3. Thank you so much for not being embarrassed to talk about living through colon cancer. It may not be a glamorous, trendy cancer, but I can tell you first hand that breast cancer isn't the only cancer taking away mothers!

    I hope your message gets doesn't fall on deaf ears and that your readers aren't too embarassed to take care of themselves!

    I stumbled over from sits and I'm so glad I did!

  4. Cancer does not discriminate. It is important to spread the message that no matter how old you are, cancer can just as easily catch you by surprise. You are doing such a great thing here. I love your idea for "Peek at My Pooper" stickers. Or how about "Check Out My Hiney"? A sticker about this would get people to pay attention, for sure.

  5. I've come across here too because of SITS. Thanks for posting about this. Cancer is a horrid thing that touches so many lives. I lost three grandparents to various forms of cancer. My mum is a breast cancer survivor, and my dad has survived two forms of cancer already.

  6. "Peek at my Pooper"! LOL That's awesome. Cancer is no laughing matter but thank you for reminding everyone the importance of regular check-ups and screenings.

    Visiting here from SITS- Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! :-)

  7. I love the Peek at my Pooper but I have a feeling it would be taken the wrong way too often! lol...thanks for making it a real thing to discuss. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  8. Happy SITS Saturday!

    What you say is very important, tho since I'm only 20 I hope that I can put off worrying about my colon for a while. :)

  9. Just stopping by from SITS to wish you a very happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! Have a great weekend!

  10. Excellent advice. EXCELLENT!

    Came over from SITS..glad you got on your soapbox!

  11. I had it done and if you haven't had it done yet, it is really an easy test to have done.
    A SITS friend

  12. Happy SITS Saturday...& you're right, it's so important.

    Enjoy your day!

  13. Dropping by from SITS. So glad I did. I have a dear 41-year old friend who kept telling me she had GI problems. Tried no sugar, no white flour, no fun diets to help. I finally got through to her when I asked her where she hung her shingle that entitled her to self-diagnosis.

    She's been riding the roller coaster of colorectal cancer for the past year. It's been the ride of her life. The ride for her life. She and I have been posting colorectal cancer facts on FB all month.

    For me, familial history on both sides led to very early screening. And I continue to get screened when I'm due. Why folks get all queasy about this simple test is beyond me.

    Keep that soapbox handy. Folks may finally hear that the test is ever so much more pleasant than the treatment. And it's far better than dying.

  14. Came across here because of SITS. I had this done and am so glad I did. Love your place. Keep up the great work!!!

  15. Having just aced my first mammogram, I think maybe I'm ready for the big time, so to speak. I don't see why they don't just drug you up once and probe you head to toe...

  16. three weeks before i got married we found out my dad had colon cancer. he had to go into the hospital the day of my wedding. it was stage 4 and we didn't think he was going to make it. he did but had to make all kinds of life style changes. it came back 4 times (amazing really he lived) and eventually had to get a colostemy. but he was tenacious abut getting his checks up. keep on preaching says lives.


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