Monday, April 19, 2010

R - E - S - P - E - C - T

R - E - S - P - E - C - T . . . find out what it means to me!

So . . . the news is good. For anyone who read my last blog, everything is healthy and good. My colonoscopy was A.O.K. and in my efforts to continue my public service announcement and encourage everyone "eligible" to shrug the fear and go, I have a couple of items to share with each of you.

First, the prep really isn't all that bad. Yes . . . I was a bit hungry in the hours leading up to the prep, but once I started the drinking of the delicious soapy, lemony, salty drink . . . there was no turning back. It was not nearly as bad as I expected, and I will willingly do this again when the time comes.

Second, R - E - S - P - E - C - T. What does this mean to me? I know . . . you are thinking that this means something creative. Is it an anagram for something? What do these letters stand for? Well, it's all about the embarrassment of the procedure. If there was one word I could use to describe the procedure, it would be "RESPECTFUL." I expected to feel embarrassed just because . . . well, you know . . . just because. Let me tell you, it was extremely respectful. That is the one word that I would use to describe the procedure, and if you don't feel that way after yours, then let me give you the name of my GI group!

Third . . . if you're eligible and nervous . . . need someone to keep you grounded before, during (well, not really during, during . . . but as you walk in and as you come out the door), or after, consider asking me! I am more than willing to drop you off, pick you up, hold your hand until you walk in the door . . . whatever!

Just do it. Feel free to call me . . . don't be afraid to just call me . . . call me and I'll be around!

And now . . . I can break free of my PSA for Colon Cancer . . . and I get back to supporting my brother and being creative.

Wait for it . . . the creative items will be coming real soon.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Pardon My Break From Creativity

Pardon my break from creativity, as I bring you my own version of a public service announcement. I'm all about cameras, but I'd like to take a timeout from being creative and talk about one camera in particular. And I hope those who think it's "too much" will forgive the imposition.

My creativity has been a bit "out the window." While I have a ton of projects to get to this week, my mind has been completely pre-occupied with other things. At the top of my list is the one thing that I've dreaded throughout my forties. The thought of turning 50 and having to succumb to the dreaded "you're turning 50" medical test. I think woman can somehow identify. I spent the last few years of my thirties dreading the mammogram. Sure, it's not the most comfortable test in the world, but we all manage through it, and we should.

This is the medical test you've more than likely never gone through before, and it seems like it would be the most uncomfortable, embarrassing thing on the face of the earth. A little tiny camera traveling in places you would never want to go. I'm a scrapper, and I'm all about cameras, but I promise there will be no glossy 5" x 7" souvenir photos of my colon in any of my scrapbooks! I seriously know very few people in their late 40's who aren't thinking about their impending test. How to skirt past it (a friend recently told me she scheduled her physical a month prior to turning 50 to confuse her physician). I also know many people past 50 who refuse to go.

The colonoscopy is not meant for blogs . . . I know this because my blog spell check didn't recognize it and gave suggestions of other words . . . including colonialism. No connection between the two words, and I suppose we should dismiss the Merriam-Webster's third definition . . . control by one power over a dependent area or people. Now isn't that interesting. I'll give that one credence as the gastroenterologist has control over my dependent area. But while it might not be meant as a topic for open discussion, it is consuming my life right now and will until I get the results.

My family has been immensely open about it since early March, when my 50-year old brother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. He celebrated his birthday and got the diagnosis just two days later. And whether it is bad or good, the family and extended family can't go a few days without comparing notes on their progress with consultations and procedures. It has extended beyond the family, as I now have a few friends who had put off scheduling and because I've shared my story, they are taking action.

I'm not 50. I'm only 48. And while I've dreaded it for a few years, my brother's diagnosis provided me with an "Advance to Early Detection" card. It's not quite as exciting as a Monopoly "Advance to Reading Railroad." I sure as heck won't get the $200.00 for passing "Go" or the opportunity to buy the railroad. The reality is that I share DNA . . . the same dark hair, brown eyes, coloring, likes and dislikes of my brother, who is just 15 months older than me. We were both picky eaters and still are to some extent. What I hope to gain is peace of mind. The procedure that I dreaded is very small in comparison to what could be even more frightening . . . the outcome.

I don't know how many people read this blog, and I don't think it is a huge number. I just want to encourage anyone who reads to share the story of the guy who turned 50 and was tired and had a cough he couldn't shake. He had no other symptoms.

So if you have a family history, get your "early in." If you're 50 or over . . . don't put it off. I'm one who dreaded it, and I am so looking forward to getting past this so I can be creative again.