I debated for several weeks on posting this thread. Sometimes personal things are better off kept private. But if just one person reads this thread, and follows my advice, I would feel better knowing that I helped someone whom I have never met.
I was supposed to get a colonoscopy 4 years ago, at age 40, because my father had colon cancer. You are supposed to get one at age 40 if colon cancer is in your family, age 50 if it is not in your family. I wimped out because the thought of having to go thru the bowel prep the day before the exam, coupled with the thought of a 10 foot hose shoved up my butt didn't sound too good.
On December 3rd, at 44, I finally went for the colonoscopy. The bowel prep the day before wasn't too bad, and I was knocked out for the actual procedure. Before the procedure, I was told that I would be in a "twilight" state, but I was out cold.
In the recovery room, patients are passing gas (air) that was pumped into the colon during the procedure. It was a fart party, and I was happy to participate. I heard the nurse say to the other patients that their results were good. I was told that the doctor would see me in a little while. Hmmm. Not good. The doctor told my wife and I that I needed to see a surgeon immediately. I had a small mass (polyp) that could not be removed during the colonoscopy. He took 3 snips of the mass for a biopsy.
My wife got a copy of the doctor's report before we left the office. Trying to read the medical verbage, and reading between lines, it said that I had cancer of the sigmoid which is the lower part of the colon. I was floored.
After feeling sorry for myself and drinking myself into oblivion, I went to see the surgeon 3 days later. Trying to calm my fears, he said that surgery was required whether the mass was cancer or not. 12 inches of my colon would be removed, and the entire mass would be checked for cancer after the surgery.
5 days later I went under the knife. I was in the hospital for 6 days and I am home now recovering. Each day I get stronger and feel better.
When I went back to the surgeon to get the staples removed, I was told that the biopsy results were in, and I did indeed have invasive cancer. I was floored again. The cancer had spread thru several layers of the colon, but had remained in the colon, so I don't need chemo or radiation.
I consider myself a very lucky man. Lucky that I didn't wait any longer and lucky that I live in a day and age where colon cancer can be detected early.
I end my saga by asking that if you are over age 50, please get a colonoscopy as soon as possible. It could save your life. It certainly saved mine.