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My health - A warning


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Chicago Ram
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« on: October 07, 2015, 09:47:33 am »

Don't mean to be dramatic, but here goes -

- I was diagnosed with a pre cancerous tumor in my lower colon; I just had surgery to remove some of the colon and lymph nodes. The pathology report came back clear, no chemo needed, so I am good to go.

- I am posting this not for sympathy, but to warn/remind others that you need to get a colonoscopy. I waited too long ( almost 57) - and chose to ignore my family history.

- So - to our younger members approaching 50, put this on your radar. If you have doctor( like i did) who wants you to do a brush test first ( it tests the stool for the presence of an enzyme and if it is there, then you get the colonoscopy), run away. Get the colonoscopy and find a new GP.

- If you are in my age group or older and you need a second one (or your first), run - not walk - and get it done!

That's my PSA of the day; on to basketball season!!!

Dan
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 10:07:49 am »

Dan, thanks for the message and the sound advice.  I am glad to hear that you are good to go.
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 10:08:21 am »

My father had some polyps removed when I was a lot younger. I started having a colonoscopy when I was 50 and also had some polyps removed the first time. They weren't cancerous but can turn if not removed. I have done every 5 years now and it is not a big deal. I usually take the day off from work and am back on the job the next day (unless I can schedule it on a Friday - good luck with that). The whole procedure takes about an hour. Figure 1 hour for prep and another hour for recovery and the total time is about 4 hours. I've remained polyp free since that first time but it isn't something you want to take chances with. Your experience may be a little different than mine but, as I said, it's no big deal.
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2015, 10:24:45 am »

My partner just had cancer surgery this past week. We are praying that her pathology report shows that it was contained. We all need to be our own advocates and have the appropriate check ups.
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 12:29:49 pm »

Thanks for sharing Chicago Ram.  I am glad to hear that it was caught in time and that you are doing well.

This is so important for everyone especially for those who are over 40.

My grandfather on my mother's side died at the age of 46 from colon/rectal cancer - he died many years before I was born.  Several others in my mother's side of the family have had colon cancer or polyps also.  I have had a couple of sigmoidoscopies (not recommended) and several colonoscopies since I was in my mid-30's.  On each occasion, except the last one, I have had polyps removed that were benign.  Since none appeared in my last exam they extended the time to 5 years from 3 years in between exams.  I am due again next summer and hoping that the change in timeline was not a mistake.  The exam itself is nothing - I usually did the colonoscopies while fully awake and even watched it on the monitor a couple times but the last time the nurse told me the physician really wanted me to be out so I did accept the anesthesia.  The procedure itself takes about 20 minutes or so.  The prep the day before is the worst part - I hate drinking all that sea sludge even though they have halved the amount I have to drink.
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2015, 12:48:21 pm »

  The procedure itself takes about 20 minutes or so.  The prep the day before is the worst part - I hate drinking all that sea sludge even though they have halved the amount I have to drink.
I find it helps to cut back on what I eat a couple of days before I start the prep and eat little on the day of the prep. My last one wasn't that bad. I've been using Dulcolax (bisacodyl) tablets the last couple of times and they work fine. I agree with you on the solution. Trying to get that down was the worst part.
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2015, 01:00:49 pm »

I find it helps to cut back on what I eat a couple of days before I start the prep and eat little on the day of the prep. My last one wasn't that bad. I've been using Dulcolax (bisacodyl) tablets the last couple of times and they work fine. I agree with you on the solution. Trying to get that down was the worst part.

Wait - you are not supposed to eat or drink anything (except water/clear juices) once you start drinking the sludge and then nothing for a few hours before.  The last couple times they did give me pills but I still had to drink the sludge.  Towards the end I start gagging.
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2015, 01:06:53 pm »

Wait - you are not supposed to eat or drink anything (except water/clear juices) once you start drinking the sludge and then nothing for a few hours before.  The last couple times they did give me pills but I still had to drink the sludge.  Towards the end I start gagging.
As I said, I start cutting back before I start the prep. The tablets then did the trick. Didn't need much of the solution.
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 01:55:35 pm »

The prep is definitely the worst part of the procedure, it is long and you do start gagging toward the end if you have to take the citrus saline stuff

Most people are out cold for the procedure and recovery is quick
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 01:59:53 pm »

The prep really isn't that bad - given I have done it twice in the last month ( for the colposcopy, and then the surgery; I feel like a veteran of this procedure.

To fill in details, I had three benign polyps removed as well in the colonoscopy; I am already scheduled for my next one - next September - one year after the surgery.

Thanks for all your well wishes!!!
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 02:16:32 pm »

I am having my next colonoscopy in November. I schedule one every 5 years, and so far, the results have been fine. I use a prep procedure that does not require the drinking of a gallon or even gallon of ghastly fluid. PM me if you want the details.

I second Chicago Ram's urging...if you are over 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, schedule your colonoscopy now!
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2015, 05:22:57 pm »

I can confirm every testimony that the prep is the hardest part.  By coincidence I had my first colonoscopy yesterday and I can't believe how easy and pain free it is.

-The anesthesia that they use today clears up very quickly....I felt fine by mid day.
-the procedure was the best sleep I've had in years!!!   They actually woke me up a little early because I was snoring too loud!
-you don't feel the procedure....at all....like it never happened.  Did I mention you don't feel the procedure?

The prep is fasting the day before, drinking a cherry flavored solution the night before and having some predictable "runs"  to get your system flushed out ...but not too many.  No stomach pain at all....zero.

Do it.... it could save you life!


Thanks for starting this thread Chi....and congratulations on the good outcomes!!

Plan on getting a ride home though...they won't let you drive or be released alone.   Although I could have driven based on how well I felt
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 04:33:33 pm »

Three 'scopes (and 1 barium enema) so far. A few polyps removed the first time at age 50, clear sailing since. But yes, guys, get this done.

Also age 50 is a guideline, not a rule. If your insurer will pay for a scope for preventative reasons before age 50, take them up on the offer. Had a friend who was diagnosed with an advanced stage of colorectal cancer at age 49. Sadly, he didn't survive. 
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2015, 04:45:06 pm »

Three 'scopes (and 1 barium enema) so far. A few polyps removed the first time at age 50, clear sailing since. But yes, guys, get this done.

Also age 50 is a guideline, not a rule. If your insurer will pay for a scope for preventative reasons before age 50, take them up on the offer. Had a friend who was diagnosed with an advanced stage of colorectal cancer at age 49. Sadly, he didn't survive. 

Yes 50 is a guideline.  I know a couple people recently diagnosed with colon cancer who were in there 30's.  One has since passed and the other has had a second occurrence and it does not look good.
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2015, 09:27:39 pm »

From Dave Barry's well known Colonoscopy article:

...I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called ''MoviPrep,'' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes -- and here I am being kind -- like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ''a loose watery bowel movement may result.'' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, ''What if I spurt on Andy?'' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the hell the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was Dancing Queen by Abba. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, Dancing Queen has to be the least appropriate.

''You want me to turn it up?'' said Andy, from somewhere behind me.

''Ha ha,'' I said.

And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, Abba was shrieking ``Dancing Queen! Feel the beat from the tambourine . . .''

. . . and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that it was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1928847.html#storylink=cpy
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2015, 09:57:30 pm »

From Dave Barry's well known Colonoscopy article:

...I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called ''MoviPrep,'' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes -- and here I am being kind -- like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ''a loose watery bowel movement may result.'' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, ''What if I spurt on Andy?'' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the hell the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was Dancing Queen by Abba. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, Dancing Queen has to be the least appropriate.

''You want me to turn it up?'' said Andy, from somewhere behind me.

''Ha ha,'' I said.

And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, Abba was shrieking ``Dancing Queen! Feel the beat from the tambourine . . .''

. . . and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that it was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1928847.html#storylink=cpy

Thanks for this. I actually laughed out loud. Dave Barry is the man.
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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2015, 11:50:52 pm »

Barry's wonderful.

Also wonderful is my office manager, who's worked with me almost 30 years and turned 50 earlier this year. When she told me she was having her first colonoscopy, I told her it was fine, the prep was the worst part. Didn't seem to be registering with her.

Morning after the procedure, she bursts into my office. "Why didn't you WARN me??!! [expletives deleted]. "I tried" was all I could say in my defense.
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2015, 10:04:32 am »

Thanks for the reminder ChicagoRam and glad you are ok. I turned 50 in July.

Seems you need two days off- one for prep, the other for the scope.

The Dave Barry piece is great. The short-lived series, Men of a Certain Age had an episode devoted to the subject. Very funny,
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2015, 02:11:41 pm »

Someone mentioned Moviprep will stain, so wear disposable clothes.
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2015, 12:25:55 pm »

Thank you, ChicagoRam.

Colonoscopies are so important. I had my second one last year at age 49. I plan on getting one every 3-5 years.

I also have a dermatologist check out my skin every year or two for problem moles and possible melanoma. Last week for the first time in awhile they took two samples for biopsies.

I have enlarged prostate so I see a urologist at least once a year anyway, and have PSA taken, etc. So far so good.

Colon, skin and prostate cancer is the most preventable if you get checked regularly (I believe).

BTW, I have a brother who is almost 58 and has never had a colonoscopy. We have tried to persuade him to get one. He has excellent health insurance, too.
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2015, 12:44:29 pm »

Thank you, ChicagoRam.

Colonoscopies are so important. I had my second one last year at age 49. I plan on getting one every 3-5 years.

I also have a dermatologist check out my skin every year or two for problem moles and possible melanoma. Last week for the first time in awhile they took two samples for biopsies.

I have enlarged prostate so I see a urologist at least once a year anyway, and have PSA taken, etc. So far so good.

Colon, skin and prostate cancer is the most preventable if you get checked regularly (I believe).

BTW, I have a brother who is almost 58 and has never had a colonoscopy. We have tried to persuade him to get one. He has excellent health insurance, too.

Show him the Dave Barry article.
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