Saturday, March 8, 2014

 
COLON CANCER IS A SERIOUS MATTER

I have been on a cancer watch for years - since my ulcerative colitis attack in 1982. It wasn't pretty - it was a lot of blood - the military doctor got what he deserved on that day.

My roommate carried me into the clinic because I could not walk. You could see the trail of blood on the floor - this quack they called a doctor not withstanding the fact he could visually see the blood coming from my anus insisted on a rectal exam - I warned him. My body let loose and he was covered in blood. He then said "I think you belong in the hospital."  You think?

You would think the trail of blood and dripping blood would have been the clue.

Anyway, again the polyps removed were of the precancerous kind. This is why I undergo so many colonoscopies. They always catch it while it is still in the polyp and not in the wall of the colon. A couple of years ago it was close - they scheduled me for the partial colectomy, but I said no and went for a second opinion on the biopsy and the tissue area where the biopsy was pulled.

 The conclusion was it never moved beyond the polyp.

MEN ARE IDIOTS

Men in particular are afraid of the procedure - out of pure ignorance. The most difficult part is the prep - what you have to drink is not nice. It is about a gallon of special fluid which cleanses you. I always tell everyone the same thing - get it real cold and chug each glass real fast - do not sip. You do this every 10 minutes and before you know you are done. Next is the cleansing - it is not fun - but you get through it.

My doctor uses Propofol to sedate me.  Because I am subject to dehydration I get a double dose of IV fluid.  I always wake up feeling like a million dollars.  As the doctor gets ready for his part the anesthesiologist injects the Propofol and you feel something nice and then wake up as they are rolling you to recovery.  It is a nice little sleep and you feel no pain.

Guys, if you are over 50, women too, and your insurance will pay you should go for a base colonoscopy.  Your doctor will then tell you if you need to return annually, every three years, every 5 years or every 10 years.  Mine is hit and miss.  This time I went 5 years.  I know enough to know the source of my bleeding - the diverticulitis bleeding is obvious because I feel like my testicles are in a vice.  So I do not worry - I go to a liquid diet and it goes away in three to four days. 

This time because there were multiple precancerous polyps I am scheduled for a 3 year follow-up.  We know enough that it would be highly unlikely for the polyp to grow enough to spread the cancer to the wall of the colon within 3 years.  That is why a three year follow-up is considered safe.  Regular polyps typically get you a 5 year follow-up.  An  unremarkable colon should get you a 10 year follow-up

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