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.

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