Yesterday morning I had a colonoscopy.
I know, a little too much information for a lot of you, but I’m not telling you this to set up a joke or to “overshare” all of the graphic details. I tell you this in support of listening to your body and seeing your doctor.
Three years ago at the age of 45, I had some minor signs and symptoms that when considered along with some knowledge of family history, made me concerned enough to make an appointment to see my Primary Care doc. After a short discussion, he agreed with my concerns and referred me to a local enterologist. During the initial appointment, the enterologist was convinced that a colonoscopy was needed. The procedure was scheduled and performed, and the results were eye-opening.
During the procedure, 12 polyps were found and removed with 6 of them classified as precancerous adenomas; one of them measured nearly 1.5 centimeters. Biopsies of the polyps confirmed that I was cancer-free and my mind was set at ease.
Because of the combination of my age at the time, the number (and size) of adenomas that I had, and my family history, I was placed on the 3-year plan to return for another procedure.
So yesterday was the big day for my 3-year return, and the result was no polyps! I’m not “out-of-the-woods”, I still need to have regular checks, but now I’m on the 5-year plan. Thinking about the entire situation makes me very glad that I took the actions I did 3 years ago. I shudder to think of the possibilities had I not made the decision to go talk to my doc.
Especially for all of my male friends out there, listen to your body and see your doc! I’m just like most of you in that I need to be near death before I go see a doctor but think of the irony in that, especially in this case…
And to all of you, watch for signs and symptoms, learn about your family history (and document it!), talk to your doc, lose your fear of the preparations and the procedures. Early detection is the key!
You know I can’t end this without a smile – and later I’ll raise a glass to you all, and To Your Health!