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I've had two colonoscopies. My dad died from colon cancer, so once I got my nerve up and had the first one, I'm now on a five-year schedule. I had a hard time going for that first one even though I was 56 and supposed to go many years before. I was embarrassed...probably more so because I'm overweight. I finally had my test done then because I moved from PA to AL and my health insurance was going to change. My new insurance wasn't going to pay for it so I decided I better do it while I could get it paid for. However, when I saw how easy it was, and how great the hospital staff was, I now have no qualms for when it will be time to get another one. It's no biggie!
The prep was okay. I drank most of the bottle of "Golytely" (what a horrible name) and although it wasn't fun, it wasn't that bad. The hospital staff put me at ease, and once I had my IV in and the meds started flowing, nothing mattered! I have no clue how the procedure went. I was asleep. When I woke up, I was out of it and barely remember getting home. I went to bed, slept a few hours and felt fine. The next day I was back on my regular schedule and went to the Y.
My doc gave me a pic of my colon and I emailed it to my sister, niece, and brother-in-law. We all had a good laugh. Fortunately, I haven't had any polyps. Both my older sister and twin brother have both had polyps...all benign. We all discuss when we are going for our colonoscopies and afterwards. We know we have to be vigilant.
My dad had a very old doctor. Both of them were almost 80. When my dad complained about not feeling well, his doc just said, "Ah, we're getting old...that's what happens when you get old." He told him to take Geritol. Geritol, of course, makes your stools black. When his doc retired, my dad went to another doctor. This doctor had him do the stool test on the paper and send it in. Of course, the blackness was also due to blood in my dadís stool. But by then it was too late. He had cancer and it had metastasized to his liver. He lived for six more months and died at the age of 80 years old. We were heartbroken because he had been such a wonderful father and vibrant person. And now I'm going to cry. He died twenty years ago and I still miss him terribly.
My husband's sister died from colon cancer last July. She had been diagnosed and had part of her colon removed about three years ago. At that time, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. I don't know if she didn't know or she was trying to shelter us, but she told us at the time that she was fine. She didn't have any chemo or radiation. I know that, once the cancer is in the lymph nodes, it is just a matter of time. She was one of my best friends.
My husband had several colonoscopies within a few months because they found a large polyp that they couldn't remove. The polyp was flat and so the doc couldn't snare it. The doctor finally blew air into my husbandís colon--which raised it up--and then he could remove it. Two years later, another one grew in the same area (it could have been the same one.) The doc couldn't remove it because he was afraid he'd perforate the colon, so my husband had a colectomy and 18" of his colon was removed in Dec. 2010.They also removed about twelve lymph nodes and his appendix. There was no cancer, thank goodness. He had a very easy recovery from his surgery and was back golfing in four weeks.
Edited by: JUNEBUG1944 at: 7/20/2011 (09:48)