As part of the Go Green, Get Fit Challenge*, I have decided to make sure that I got all my annual check-ups. I hadn’t seen a primary care doctor for shamelessly three or more years. Nor, did I get a colonoscopy done when I turned ? (I can’t even say it so let’s just skip the age thing.) But thank goodness I finally came to my sense. It saved my life.
Yes. You heard that right.
How Did I Get Off the Pot and Finally Get it?
Even though Dr Oz scared the sh*t out of me when he disclosed he has a precancerous polyp, I still procrasinated some more. Yeah, yeah. I will get to it. I think hubby being diagnosed a diabetic 2 was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I scheduled the procedure for both of us. I was so scared that he something was going to be wrong with him.
So Why the procrastination?
The whole thought of the colonoscopy just unnerved me. Drinking a horrible tonic prep which puts hair on your chest, hugging the toilet bowl in reverse, and being put to sleep just didn’t sit well for me. So, like any good procrastinator, I just pushed it off. And off. And off. I eat healthy. You know I am a 2 year old vegetarian. What’s too worry?
So, I went into my colonscopy thinking I do everything right. No problem. In fact, how smug of me, I even thought the doctor will be so impressed how beautiful my colon will look. I was more anxious about the anesthesia since most pain killer and anesthesia makes me sick as a dog.
Not Great News
When I came out of the procedure, the doctor told me I had slight reflux but he took a polyp out of me. It was located at the top of my colon. It was small.
No exercising for 2 weeks, no heavy lifting, no flax seeds, and by the way, we will tell you in five days the results.
Is he kidding, I thought? 5 days of hell waiting for the results.
When I told people I had a polyp taken out, most said don’t worry. Lots of people have benign polyps. My brother in law had a benign one.
That Fateful Day
When I got the call at 5:00 on Friday, I knew something was wrong. The doctor hesitated when giving me the news. He said that I didn’t have gluten issues (since I was worried about my gassiness with bread.) But.
The longest pause of my life.
The polyp was precancerous.
Through the haze, I asked how did this happen. Genetics he said. But no one in my family had a polyp. No one in my immediate family had cancer. And I am vegetarian I told him. He then replied had I ate meat, I probably would had more. We hung up the phone and he said I will see you in four years.
What happens if it comes back?
What was I suppose to do with this information? Move to Tibet and fast?
When it Really Hit Me
For weeks I have sat with the thought I dodge a bullet. I have only told close friends and get the same results. “WTF” or “Holy sh*t.”
I could have been one of the 32,000 people who die every year from colon cancer because I failed to get screened.
But I haven’t processed how much this whole pre-C scared me. As I wrote this post, I watched the video where Dr. Oz was told his polyp was precancerous. Tears rolled down my face because I watched as he too was shocked and in disbelief. He didn’t know what to do with himself as he called home.
All he could say is he loved his wife.
(I am balling like a baby right now.)
I so related because you just don’t think this could happen to you.
Luckily, my doctor got the polyp. So many people aren’t so lucky. Read on if you fit into any of these categories.
- A recent study revealed Hispanics and Blacks have a higher colon polyp risk than previously thought.
- obese and overweight people are more likely to have polyps
- 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colon cancer are over the age of 50
- People with inflammatory bowel syndrome (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease not IBS) are more likely to get colon cancer.
- People diagnosed with Diabetes 2 have a higher chance of being diagnoised with colon cancer.
- Even Jews of Eastern European descent have one of the highest colorectal cancer risks of any ethnic group in the world.
- Diets high in red meat and processed food can increase risk of colon cancer.
- Certain genetic and hereditary issues. Read about them here.
Join the conversation:
- Have you had a poply taken out of you? Was it benign or precancerous?
- If the poply was cancerous or pre-cancerous how did it change your life?
- Are you remiss in getting your colonscopy? How come?