Friday, March 4, 2011

Colon Cancer Awareness

Here it comes again!  The time of the year where I can get up on my soapbox and talk about cancer without people's eyes rolling back in their heads.  After a while people tune you out.  They want to hear uplifting stories.  Stories about cancer aren't usually uplifting.  People think cancer equals death but that's not always the case.

Today was "Dress in Blue" day to raise awareness for Colon Cancer.  It was also the day my sister went in for a colonoscopy.

Colon Cancer runs in our family.  Mom's youngest sister died from it in 1983 at the very young age of 29.  I was diagnosed Stage III three and a half years ago.  My sister had a hemicolectomy a year ago in February.  The surgery was supposed to lessen her risk of getting Colon Cancer.  Even after that, she still has to have a colonoscopy every year just to make sure there's nothing wrong.

It's been two years since my last colonoscopy.  It's scheduled for March 24 so it's fast approaching.  I don't dread it as much as I used to.  When you're first diagnosed with cancer every procedure and doctor appointment is earth shattering because you're wondering, constantly, about the WHAT IF's.  What if this should happen?  What if we have to do this procedure?  What if it comes back?  What if they find something new?

The other day I called to schedule my PET scan before my appointment with the oncologist on April 7.  Turns out that I don't need to schedule one!  My last three scans have been clear so my oncologist wants only blood work and we'll see how it looks and go from there.

So, here comes the preaching again ... if you are near the age of 50, or have a history of Colon Cancer in your family, or are experiencing ANY type of bowel problems or pain, get thee to a doctor quick!  If the doctor tells you that you're too young for Colon Cancer let him/her know that the youngest diagnosed person with Colon Cancer was a 12 year old child.  Colon Cancer doesn't discriminate based on sex, race, age or any of the other bunk you have have heard!  It is treatable and preventable!  Get it scheduled and have it done.  Tell your doctor that Carol sent you!

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