I had a colonoscopy this week. My third. This is not a common thing for a 45-year old woman unless you have some type of colon disorder like Crohn’s Disease or start having them preventatively at 50 per the guidelines. I don’t have a disorder. I just happened to have a mother who died of colon cancer at the age of 58. I started having colonoscopies at 37. If you’ve ever seen anyone die the long, slow, and very painful death from cancer, then you know why screenings are so vital.
One of the hardest parts of my mother’s death, outside of watching cancer eat away at her body until she was only skin and bones, was that she had symptoms of colon cancer for 6 months before she went to have things checked out. SIX months. And she was an RN. She knew better. All I can think is that she was in denial. Denial that it could happen to her. Denial that it would happen to her. But it not only did happen to her. It took her life.
I don’t have a crystal ball. I have no idea if she’d gone in as soon as she noticed the first symptoms whether they would have caught things early, started treatment, and today’s post might be about another topic entirely, because she would still be on her earthly journey.
What I do know is that the earlier something is caught, the better chance you have of successfully treating whatever needs to be treated, and changing whatever needs to be changed in your life.
This is why you must do the icky stuff. Why if something feels off in your body you go get it checked out as soon as possible. Because denial is not a treatment plan.
Maybe you’re afraid something might really be wrong. And you might be right. My mother said to me not too long after her diagnosis, “This isn’t really a good time for me to be diagnosed with cancer”. And I asked her,”tell me, when would a good time be?” There is never a good time to be diagnosed with cancer. No one ever says, I’ll just put everything on hold and go deal with this, then come back to my normal life. No, it becomes your life, and your fight for it.
What I’m trying to say, is don’t let denial keep you from getting checked out. We all have intuition. We all know when something is “off," even if we don’t know what it is. Yes, you might be afraid a doctor will really find something wrong with you. But you can’t treat something unless you know what you’re treating.
It’s your choice. Maybe you know something isn’t quite right and you’re putting off going to get it checked out. It’s not a good time. You’re too busy. Or afraid. I understand. That’s what my mother did.
I’d let her share her experience with you but she can’t. She’s not here to do that.
Here are the symptoms of colon cancer according to the Mayo Clinic. It is the third leading cancer causing death in women.
I’m not having any symptoms. But it’s been 5 years since my last colonoscopy so it’s time for another preventative screening. It’s not the most pleasant experience, but better than the Dr. telling me I have cancer.
My results showed a perfectly healthy and clean colon.
And now I’m off to continue living my fantastic life.
Please go and nurture your life. Even if it means doing the icky stuff.
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