As I write this, I’m contemplating what fabulous hospital-appropriate fleecy comfort wear I’ll be donning tomorrow when I have my three yearly colonoscopy.
I’m also contemplating the burbling in my stomach and wondering when the first “delicious” compound drink that I downed two hours ago, will begin doing it’s job of cleaning me out, pre-colonoscopy. Better not be anytime in the next few minutes as my five year old is occupying our one and only toilet.
And being of the male variety, he likes to spend some time in there, wallowing in his poo air. (Ew, can anyone tell me why they do that? Seriously who wants to sit around in a room filled with stink, thinking about life or even worse reading a newspaper which then they put back on the kitchen table. GAG.)
Anyway, back to my buttoscopy as it’s being fondly referred to. I know maybe that this isn’t the most palatable thing to talk about but we shouldn’t be all ‘shoosh’ about it. It’s just a thing that some of us have to do when we’re young. And everyone should do when they are older.
The reason I have to go through the ordeal every three years is that I have a family history. My dad has had two punch-ups (in the ring…hehehehe…. it’s no laughing matter really) with bowel cancer. The first cancer was the size of a small football. The surgeon removed it, along with a foot long piece of colon, and dad was very well for five years. Then the specialist found another, via dad’s regular colonoscopy check up.
It was much worse and my poor papa endured an extremely full-on surgery, where they removed a whole heap of his internal organs. He was fitted with permanent colostomy and urostomy bags. The shock of all this was too much for him. He ended up clinically depressed and in simple terms, willed himself into a catatonic state. Thanks to modern medicine, and a shitload of medication, he is alive and kicking today. He’s a tough old coot my dad.
Can I say right now if you or anyone you know is depressed. Please seek medical attention immediately. Don’t delay and don’t put up with it. Mental health is as important as physical health and there is absolutely no shame in taking medication if it is recommended by a qualified professional.
Women get bowel cancer too.
AND can I also say, which is the actual point of this post, that bowel (colorectal) cancer is bad. The Cancer Council reports that it the second most common cancer in both men AND WOMEN in Australia. And 80% of cases have no known hereditary genetic associations. Bowel cancer comes from polyps.
Someone recently asked me what polyps were and I’m like “I don’t know, mushrooms in your arse? I’m not a doctor, okay”. What I do know is that when I had my last colonoscopy I had a couple of polyps removed. They were the kind that could turn into cancer. That makes you think doesn’t it. So although the colonoscopy experience isn’t exactly awesome, I’d frankly rather have a camera stuck up my coit than end up with cancer.
Buttoscopy Faux Pas
I heard a story from a friend that she knew a lady who woke up during her colonoscopy and said “Mmmm that feels nice”. And afterwards she REMEMBERED waking up and saying it!!!! I think maybe it’s more urban myth than reality but makes me laugh very hard every time I think of it.
Hope that doesn’t happen to me tomorrow.
If you are over 50 you are eligible for the free National Cancer Screening Program program. According to the website it is available for people to use in the “privacy of their own homes”. Which is good, I’d really hate to see people test themselves at work or in my local wine bar.
Do you make sure you’re on top of your health? What checks have you had lately?