Yesterday was the official “Dress in Blue” Day. A day to show your support for those with colon cancer- present and past. It’s also a day to bring awareness. It’s simple- colonoscopies save lives. If you are fifty or over OR have a family history (I’m Lynch) or have symptoms – regardless of age or family history- then you should be getting a colonoscopy- NO IF AND OR BUTTS ABOUT IT!!
Colonoscopies aren’t what they once were. There is not a three day clean out process. Yes, the clean out is the worse. But the procedure itself is painless- the only pain is the stick from the needle to get your IV started for your DRUGS! Your out and then awake to “what happened?” I had a sig flex last week in preparation for upcoming surgery. The anesthesiologist said by the time we count down from 10 you’ll be out- 10, 9, 8 – what happened? I was out.
Most insurance will pay for a screening colonoscopy. Check with your insurance and doctor office. Even those with high deductibles- there are options. Just make sure it’s noted as preventive- all insurance companies are different so be sure and have the doctors office check before hand. Now if they find a polyp it can chance from preventive to whatever they call it and insurance will pay differently. We were told this with my husbands scoped a couple months ago. Luckily he had no polyps- makes no sense at all- gggrrrrr
BUT paying for a colonoscopy is better than paying for cancer treatment. Been there done that. Even with insurance it adds up!
So let’s all wear our blue the rest of this month and get scoped!
Well it’s been an adventurous couple of weeks. This past weekend we celebrated my 50th in Mardi Gras! My husband planned the trip. It was wild needless to say. I think he was trying to rejuvenate my wild side. I did let loose and had a GREAT time on Bourbon Street. Would I do it again? HECK YEA! I love living life! Even if we were in bed by 10pm- what does that matter?
The weekend before was spent with my sisters and best friends celebrating in Dallas at the Stock Yard and Grapevine area! February is over- March is here! And with March brings Colon Cancer Awareness!! Be sure and wear your blue in recognition and GET SCOPED!!
Well life is grand- for me! I just got back from a weekend with my sisters and two of my best friends- it was the girls Birthday Celebration for my 50th! I know I’m celebrating all month and think I’ll consider celebrating all YEAR! You’re only 50 for a year ya know?
Last week one of my other dear friends husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor that had metastasized from a bladder cancer he had a lil over a year ago. He had surgery then followed by chemo- unsure if he had any radiation. All of his scans had been clear. He’d been experiencing some headaches and after about a month they got worse and for no known reason- they ordered an MRI that showed the tumor. MRI was one day and two days later he was having surgery. He’s still in ICU. He will have radiation to the brain and chemo again. His wife- my friend- well they both actually are my friends- had breast cancer several years ago. Their only daughter of 17 was killed in an accident about 17 years ago. They are both two of the strongest people I know. I say all this to say CANCER SUCKS BIG TIME. I HATE IT but I know it doesn’t discriminate against age sex religion etc……it doesn’t care. The best we can do is take things day by day and thank God for each and every day he’s allowed us to live and live it to its fullest! We can’t let survivors guilt get us down although it’s obviously something that affects most survivors! So what is a Survivor to do when faced with this feeling?
Currently I’m a semi-colon. They took half of my colon when they removed my tumor. They also removed my valve between the small and large intestines to get clean margins. My tumor was high up in the sigmoid. With that being said I have ISSUES. Most people who have had a right sided cancer removed has issues with diarrhea. Not me- my issues is constipation. Let’s back up to grade school. I had my appendix removed in second grade. I had female issues in my early 30′s and had a hysterectomy in 1996 leaving me with one ovary. Being that I’m Lynch that would have went later anyways. In 1998 I had breast reduction surgery- I know seriously- tie two gallon milk jugs together and carry around your neck and see how you feel- YUK!! Then in 2000 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. It was kinda funny as my gyno did my surgery vaginally – less scarring- less scar tissue. You couldn’t even tell on the outside I’d had surgery. Then my surgeon guts me from pubic to above belly button. He did a really good job. Then in 2002 a different surgeon removed my gall bladder. Well he jacked me up good. So I’m missing several body parts. With these missing body parts come digestion issues. I seem to always have a pain of some sort at my reconnect. In 2010 I was having severe issues and test revealed a restriction in my small intestines. I had surgery once again – doctor was able to go into the same incision for that surgery. I had major adhesions and an issue with my reconnect. So the restriction was relieved and and my reconnect was worked on and now we are at 2014. Currently I am dependent on laxatives to have a BM. I was having severe pain and have had more test in 2013 than I’ve had since my diagnosis. I’ve found a new surgeon that comes from Mayo in Minnesotta. Test reveal that my reconnect wasn’t fixed the way we were led to believe and my symptoms suggest an obstruction although test do not reveal an obvious one as in 2010. I have adhesions causing me issues in my lower pelvic area as well. So I’ve known about these medical discoveries -LOL- since before Christmas. My son was married 2/8- I didn’t feel I would have time to completely recover from surgery to enjoy the wedding. Every life event after a diagnosis of cancer for me is priceless. More so than before. I wouldn’t jeopardize that special day for him as well as myself. I turned 50 the day after his wedding. We have a 50th birthday trip planned for the end of February so I’ve put off doing anything until after that. Currently surgery is schedule for 3/17. So instead of being in pain from constipation until then I rely on laxatives and feel so much better. Now don’t get me wrong- we’ve tried all the newer medications for constipation and different scenarios with other laxatives. The only thing that works- and not always over night- is laxatives- which is funny as I once said I’d rather have diarrhea over constipation any day. Being constipated to the point where your back and chest hurt from the pressure and add that pressure to reconnect site – that makes for one miserable momma.
So that pretty much brings you up to speed on Leana’s gut situation- and that’s the short version. I still try not to give in to it. I love my life- but when it gets bad I have pain medication- which I rarely rely on as that causes constipation!! I still love my life!!
Well yesterday was Valentines Day. I love my husband and family pretty much 365 days a year- but yesterday I reflected on the beauty- inside and out of my loves. My loves are my adult children and my husband. Hubby pretty busy with work so I decided to cook dinner. I NEVER cook on a Friday night much less during the week-LOL. So I had cheese sticks for appetizers, friendship casserole with green beans and garlic bread for dinner, wine left over from my sons wedding and home made dipped strawberries followed by a relaxing time in the hot tub. Then attempted to watch LAST VEGAS- I nearly made it to the end. it was a nice evening- just the hub and I.
Now tonight movie and dinner out-my choice!! Think I’ll check out the movie listings now!
I’ve had thoughts of starting a blog for some time now. I think I have an interesting life. I married the love of my life at the age of 18. We had three children by the time I was 29. At age 36 in 2000 I was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. It really wasn’t surprising as my father had been diagnosed TWICE at the age of 42 and 52. We find out later that our family has Lynch Syndrome – which is hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer or HNPCC for short- we just say Lynch. I had surgery to remove my tumor followed by 6 months of chemo. The first couple of rounds of chemo was worse than the surgery and recovery. Had we known I was Lynch before hand, chemo would not have been necessary. It wasn’t until 2004 that we had the official genetic testing done at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, Tx. They were able to go back and pull my tumor from the “tumor” bank and test it with my blood sample to locate the mis-match repair gene. Mine being MLH1. Once they were able to distinguish the mutation all it took for my family was a blood draw to see if they too had the “mutation”. It was obvious my Lynch came from my Dad’s side of the family so he was not tested. Both my sisters were tested as well as my oldest two children. The youngest was not 18 yet and they recommend 18 or at an age of maturity. They were all negative for the mutation. Our youngest was later tested when he was 19 – I didn’t feel he was mature enough at 18 LOL – and he was positive. He’s now 21 and has had two colonoscopies! All clear. Knowing truly is powerful as it gives you the upper hand. It puts you in charge of it and not vice versa! My brother has yet to be tested.
So that some what brings everyone up to speed- I’ll try to fill in the blanks as I go. I turned 50 this past weekend- our oldest son was married the day before my 50th and Life is GRAND!!! If I didn’t have Lynch I would be getting my first screening scope this year! I can NOT count on two hands the number of scopes I’ve had. I’m not complaining- It’s been 14 years and no second cancer. There were a couple of polyps in 2010 which would have quickly grown into a tumor had I not had that scope!
Here is a link on Lynch Syndrome.
Normal Screening starts at age 50! UNLESS you have a family history, obvious symptoms or know you have a genetic disposition that puts you at a higher risk- such as LYNCH! I am Lynch.
I turned 50 this year. So that means I have friends, classmates, family members that are at least 50 or older. PLEASE get that screening scope scheduled and if you already have- YOUR COLON THANKS YOU!!!