Ya’ gotta’ hand it to the awesome gals at Aging but Dangerous™. They didn’t let any grass grow under their feet or any polyps in their colons. Take The World’s Largest Colonoscopy Party, held March 31 at the Depot Minneapolis Renaissance Hotel. “Raising screening rates by 14% could save 500 Minnesota lives per year,” read the invitation. I’m revisiting this post because since that party, colorectal cancer is still with us.
The AbD crew reminds us, just as Katie Couric did in 2000, that colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death in women in the U.S. and it is preventable and curable. Colorectal cancer takes more lives than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Colorectal cancer is just as common among women as men. Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and about 50,000 die from the disease.
Prep Pills Plop, Fizz
So, participants needed to consult their insurance company and receive the doctor’s blessing before going under the tube. The Pre-Poop party the evening of March 31 benefited the American Cancer Society (ACS) and was for toasting those who involuntarily downed the first of many colonoscopy “cocktails” required to complete the justifiably famous bowel prep. Friends and associates cheered screening participants on, as they quickly excused themselves from the festivities. Everyone got to walk through a 12’ X 20’ inflatable colon: What a gas!
Participants stayed overnight at the hotel, and were taken the next day, April Fool’s, by limo to their screening. After noon, everyone was back for food and drink—there was likely a stampede—and “Way to Gos!” (literally) they’d earned for going the exam distance in their gowns.
I remember my procedure of four years ago—well, some of it, especially the “pre” part the night before. I took the pills with the “clear liquid of my choice”—which unfortunately did not include a good, oaky Chardonnay—and after the first one, I immediately threw up. The others went down easily as everything went out. I never want to see clear grape juice again.
I Got an “A”
Walking bleary-eyed into the doctor’s office, I nodded, “No, I don’t want to be awake for this, thanks very much.” Waking up after my colonoscopy, I heard the gastroenterologist saying, “Excellent prep. Great job.”
Why, uh, thanks again! You did a great job, too. (Yes, I did! Baby Wipes, thank you, too!)
ACS says more than 90% of colorectal cancer cases are in people age 50 and older. For this reason, the society recommends we baby boomers start getting tested for the disease at age 50. People who are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer, such as those who have colon or rectal cancer in their families, may need to begin testing at a younger age. Talk to your doctor about when you should start getting tested.
Then just do it. You’ll get through it. And remember, you don’t have to do it again for ten years. Breathe freely, now…