What is a word for anxiety? Colonoscopy!

What is a word for anxiety? Colonoscopy!

by doyle@doylearanstrom.com on Nov 6, 2021

For those of you who have had a colonoscopy, you know what I am talking about it.  For those of you who have not had one, but expect to in the future, don't worry, it's a piece of cake.  [Probably should come up with a better phrase.]. For those of you who have not and do not plan to do so, keep reading.  It may save your life, I know it may have mine.  

For those of you who have yet to have a colonoscopy, but expect to have one,  again do not worry, it's a piece of cake. [I really should come up with a better phrase.]  Basically you go into the nice gastroenterology center where the friendly people there help you go night night for a while.   You wake up go home and have a nice meal. When I woke up from my first one, I told the nurse she did not need to call for a ride for me, I lived near the Clinic and could just walk home.  All I asked is she point me in the right direction and I was sure I would be fine.  

For those of you who have had colonoscopies, you know the anxiety does not come from the procedure, but from the prep.  However, it is important to take a positive perspective in these matters.  As opposed to focusing on the discomfort, consider the prep as an opportunity to spend some quality time with yourself.  This is important for two reasons.  One, self-awareness and inner meditation are always important for personal growth.  Two, no one else wants to be around you.  

If you are not planning or choosing to have a colonoscopy, let me tell you about my brother.  He was fourteen years older than me and was my mother's favorite son.  There are lots of reasons for this, but the easiest way to explain this is he had a full head of hair until the day he died.  This is a clear sign of maternal favoritism.  

And die he did, at age 59 of colon cancer.  My brother was a brilliant man. He was an engineer who worked on the space program in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  He then moved to Mexico and worked as a consultant on a nuclear power plant project.  Within a year he was fluent in Spanish and his second wife was a native of Vera Cruz, Mexico where they lived until they moved back to the US.  He became a self-employed consultant and was constantly working. He ignored the warning signs of colon cancer.  I know this because he called me right before he died and asked me, [begged me] to get checked out.  There are lessons here.  One is really bright people can still make really dumb decisions when it comes to personal health care. A lot of that still going around.

Anyway, I did get checked out much earlier than I would have otherwise.  I did the beginnings of colon cancer which left unchecked, may have grown into cancerous tumors.  Without his phone call, it likely would have been years before I would have undergone screening.   

The reality is, not counting skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the US. According to the American Cancer Society, it is expected there will be about 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in the US in 2021.  It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths which is expected to total about 53,000 in 2021.  

The "Stop Colon Cancer Now" website states about 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime and only 20% of diagnoses have a family history of colon cancer.  If you were in a room with 20 people and you knew one person in the room was going to get colon cancer, would you roll the dice or take a test that could prevent or at least reduce the risk of getting cancer.  Take your time thinking about this, it's not a trick question.  

The good news is the number of cases of colorectal cancer in the US has been decreasing and a primary reason is early detection.  However, one study I reviewed found that about 40% of at-risk individuals have never been screened. There are a variety of reasons, but the primary ones are fear and not being willing to go thru the discomfort of the process.  

I understand a colonoscopy can be a pain in the, wait, not a good description.  I will think of something.  But while thinking, please understand dealing with colon cancer is much worse.  

Though like many people, I will never be out of the woods, I do believe my brother kept me from having to deal with a horrible disease much earlier in life.  If you are one of those at-risk individuals unwilling to get a colonoscopy, please do so.  It's not that bad, just make sure you have a good book and a bookmaker is probably a handy idea also.  

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