God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Season for Warnings

I’ve had some good times lately—Hawaii, Savannah and points in between—talking memories with treasured friends and sharing discoveries with new friends. So, it is strange that I now have consecutive entries focusing on not so good things. Somehow Hawaii, Savannah and friends have been temporarily pushed aside. But, just as the last entry was important to share, so is this.

Colon cancer arrives like a phantom; it stalks in stealth. It is deadly and consumes a body quickly. It is an evil that insinuates itself into a life without clarity or warning. But…there is a redeeming aspect to this enemy that is not shared by many other cancers. Colon cancer can be defeated before it begins!

For several years now, each time I have had a physical, the doctor has indicated that I should have a colonoscopy—a really simple procedure to determine if polyps have made an appearance in the colon. If so, they are biopsied to determine if cancer is present. But, because the concept of the procedure is less than pleasant, and the fasting and purging required the day before is not fun, I kept putting it off—I know that I am not alone in this misguided procrastination.

I think because I need more years to raise Casey, the last time the doctor lectured me, I listened and made the appointment. There were several times between then and the fateful day when I seriously thought about backing out—after all, I am healthy, agile and reasonably energetic. But, I have made a pact with God—He has given us this beautiful child to raise and so He must allow us to do that—for Casey.

Finally, two weeks ago, I had the colonoscopy. Two days ago I returned to the doctor for the results. As he reviewed the report on each of the polyps, I sensed that maybe not all had been perfect. And it hadn’t been—one had been cancerous. But—because I had the colonoscopy, the cancer was found before it had developed or grown enough to be a danger. The removal of the polyp removed the cancer. I asked the doctor what would have happened had it not been discovered. In a year or less, I could have been fighting colon cancer.

A colonoscopy and removal of polyps can reduce the chance of colon cancer by 76-90%. Experts tell us that anyone 50 or older should have this 30 minute procedure. I am saying that it is foolish and self-destructive to avoid taking this step. I am well past 50 and lucky. Colon cancer is deadly.

If this entry gets one reader to the doctor, it has been worth writing. I urge you now.

This is one of many good resources on the web. Colon Polyps & Colon Cancer?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this Jane. And I am so happy that your offending polyp was removed in good time!


Jane said...

Good morning, Sheena. You know that you and Terry were instrumental in my finally doing this. So, something good has come out of Terry's ordeal--not just for me, but for Casey.

Sure missed you last week.

Brazitalian8984@att.net said...

I am glad you are OK and caught it on time. As you know, I am a breast cancer survivor, thanks to preventive exams, we'll survive!


Texas Espresso said...

I am so glad you went ahead and got the test! You are right that most of us put those kinds of things off because we feel fine. It is always good to read a reminder. God bless!

Jane said...

Thanks Sandra and Jennifer (I think). I hope that someone who needs to read this, does.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jane, I had meant to comment on this on slowtrav when you mentioned it but somehow got distracted by other things you were saying. I do want to address this now. What you are sharing is so important. I lost an aunt to colon cancer and it was so preventable had she had the colonoscopy instead of the sigmoidoscopy which didn't see the cancer. Because of this family history I have made a point of getting checked. You're right the procedure itself is nothing bad and when you think of the prep the day before it's annoying but of little consequence when you think of the alternative. Good for you for putting this out there as a reminder. We need to do all we can to be around for the "good"things in life. Cheers to you! Barb Cabot

GasDoc said...

Well done ! With this simple and clear post you can help spreading the good habits, in this case the urge to do colonoscopy to people reading and then telling to others...and the circle goes on! I am a doctor and I have to thank you...it talkes us a lot of talking and somehow we can't reach all the population..more people like you and our job would be really easy! Thank you! I am glad that your bad polyp was removed well in advance and that you are doing fine!
PS I love your blog

Jane said...

GasDoc, grazie for your comment. How in the world did you stumble on my blog? I am quite curious.

Anonymous said...

Jane, I'm so glad you had your colonoscopy, and they got that bad polyp out before it did you any harm.

And thank you for blogging about it, and getting the word out.

Eden said...

Hi Jane,

I am a colon cancer survivor. I am one of those who postponed colonoscopy as it was just not convenient and did not fit my schedule.

Mine was caught in its early stage and all is well now.

I am glad yours was only a polyp and caught very early.

Wishing you many, many good years ahead.

Jane said...

Eden, it is good to hear that you are a success story though you did need to go through some real trials, I know. I do feel blessed.

Jerry said...

Jane - thanks for this. I have a few years before I turn 50. I guess I shall have to learn to deal with my doctor phobia by then . . .

Mary Thomas said...

Your blog continues to be a source of admiration to me. The way you treat delights, sorrows, concerns, humbling and proud experiences is always nuanced , reflective, honest and generous. May Life treat you with the kindness and gentleness you so deserve.

So fondly,

Jane said...

Mary, your words are so kind and moving and appreciated. I am just starting my day here and it has started so well. I so look forward to our time with you in August.

Maria said...

Thank you for writing about this on your blog and on the April Blog.

I nag my husband every day about having this procedure. He's 55 and long due. I'm going to make him read what you wrote here.

I had my first colonoscopy two years ago and had two pre-cancerous polyps removed. I'm due for another in three years but I don't want to wait that long. I have a friend in her 40's who's a colon cancer survivor but sadly her Dad was not.

I wish you good health!


Jane said...

Maria, maybe it is for your husband that I wrote this. I hope he goes. It is so not worth it not to go. I'm glad yours was found in time, too.

lara said...

Ciao Jane,
grazie a Dio tutto è andato bene.
In the last 2 years I have been reading your blog every week... ho riso, mi sono commossa....
un grande abbraccio a Casey.
Lara - Italy

lara said...

Ciao Jane,
grazie a Dio tutto è andato bene.
In the last 2 years I have been reading your blog every week... ho riso, mi sono commossa....
un grande abbraccio a Casey.
Lara - Italy

Jane said...

Hi, Lara,
Are you our Lara? Casey's wonderful tutor? Thanks for reading the blog. Do you read Casey's?

lara said...

thanks for "our Lara"!!!
Yes, it's me. I have been reading Casey's Blog ... bellissssssimo!!!
His italian amici , the pictures , the videos!!!
If he still remember me I 'll write comments on his blog .ciao a presto

Jane said...

Lara, I sent you an e-mail at your old yahoo address. Let me know if you get it. OK?

Yes, he most certainly remembers you as do we.

angelina said...

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This site will give you a free cancer- guide which details how to cure cancers by Holistic Treatment – Only useful treatment to cure cancer completely- and also on how to care cancer as well as much information about the cancers
Thanks lot

Jane said...

Merlin, thank you for your comment. And...the reason the blog is not updated very often is...time and absence of a topic that motivates me. It was much easier when we lived in Italy for the year--always something to share.