Monday, June 8, 2009
Get A Screening Colonoscopy
A Night Away From Home
My brother John, who babysat my pets while Mom and I went to Aunt Nadine's funeral, said Augie sat and cried and howled most of the time we were gone. He said if Augie thought you were looking at him howling or trying to make him feel better, the Augster would hide and cry quietly in his hiding place but wouldn't stop.
Augie is my dachshund, my sweet patootie, and was a gift from my Mom for my 45th birthday, the year I was diagnosed and treated for cancer. He's been my guardian angel every since, and became my Mom's a couple of years ago. He switched from sleeping on my bed to sleeping on hers about the same time Mom started "feeling bad" before she was diagnosed with cancer. I think animals can tell when someone is sick, especially with cancers that upset your metabolism and probably change your body odor in subtle ways.
When The Headache gets really bad at home, Augie comes and curls up beside me, trying to do everything he can do to help, even if it is just being snuggly. If I have to be so medicated I am knocked out, Augie will stay by my side until I am no longer under the influence. He is maybe just a little bit spoiled but is a very good boy most of the time, and he just doesn't know what to do when both Mom and I are gone at the same time.
Thinking of cancer, I want to urge everyone reading this blog to have a screening colonoscopy after the age of 50, sooner if colorectal cancer runs in your family.
My mother and my uncle both have had colon cancer, and it is very curable if you catch it early enough. My Mom was told that she had probably had cancer in that spot for FIFTEEN to TWENTY years! If she had had a screening colonoscopy when she was in her mid to late fifties, they might have found it at a much easier to treat stage and the surgery would have been much less extensive. My uncle had an even harder time of it, with two rounds of chemotherapy and two rounds of radiation and extensive surgery, but he is cancer free five years later!
I have had two colonoscopies (because my prior endometrial cancer puts me at a higher risk) and my brother Phil just had one a couple of weeks ago - he is 53. You don't remember a thing, it doesn't hurt, and the only bothersome part is taking the purging laxatives the night before. I've had biopsies during the procedure, and didn't feel any pain from it at all, and the peace of mind is priceless.
I go tomorrow morning for a MRI of my lumbar sacral spine. Apparently the MRI I just had a few weeks ago for the pelvic region is not the same as this MRI. Who would have thunk it??? The Headache is being unpleasant this evening, but considering I have driven quite a few miles this weekend I am not surprised. The Headache did behave itself this weekend for the most part, which I was very grateful for. My Mom was sad and stressed enough without having to put her through The Headache rigamarole.