I had a colonoscopy today. On the way home I joked with my wife that I had thought of making a temporary tattoo to put on a butt cheek that said, “Beware All Ye Who Enter” to give the gastroenterologist and staff a little chuckle and surprise after they knocked me out. The Mrs. said that sounded like a good blog entry.
I was wary of the post-procedure anesthesiologist instructions that included — along with the usual “don’t operate machinery or drive” — the foreboding “Don’t make any important decisions for 12 hours.” I thought blogging about an invasive procedure in ‘the most private of areas’ required an important decision.
Decide I did.
My father died just short of his 54th birthday from a two and a half year battle with colon cancer. Even 25 years ago early detection probably could have saved his life or given him a better shot. He was old-school from Ireland and ignored all the early warning signs. Eventually it was diagnosed, he went through some surgery and spent the next two years going through various treatments while the cancer spread to other areas. He died at home on a warm May evening with Mom and my brothers and sister bedside.
The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 112,000 new colon cancer cases in 2007 and 52,000 deaths. Colo-rectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Prevention and screening is key to nipping any cancer potential in the bud. FightColoRectalCancer.org has a nice, clear and understandable primer on prevention.
Along with my father’s good nature (and sometimes quick temper), my siblings and I inherited the ‘better’ odds of getting colon cancer. This was my second colonoscopy; my first was five years ago. Mom stays on top of us all to get them done. The colonoscopy is easy, especially when they knock you out for it.
So, end of PSA — read up and sort out whether it’s something you to need to check on. Get it done, have some fun — feel free to print out the mcglinch doodle above to tape to your butt when you get your colonoscopy.