Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Other "C" Word

So this morning I feel much better than I did yesterday evening. Not sure what happened but I fell asleep on the couch for a little while after I got home from work and when I woke up....I felt awful. Maybe I was just overly tired or maybe the stress of "trying" to juggle this week is getting the best of me. I am not sure...but I went to bed fairly early and today I feel human again.

Along with all the juggling and schedule stressing this week....I am a bit stressed about Friday. You see, Friday I am having the other "C" word. I am having a colonoscopy! No....I am not stressed about the proceedure itself as I have already had several in my life. What I am stressed about it is "why" I am having it. For those of you who don't know, my mother died of colon cancer and it was the 4th of four primary cancers she had. What it means by primary cancer is, she had four seperate cancers....none caused by the others. In other words none spread from one area of her body to the other. This tells the drs. that my family are prime candidates for genetic issues where cancer is concerned. Since  not only my mom but two aunts and uncle and several cousins have had breast cancer, I was tested for the breast cancer gene. Blessedly I didn't have it, but because of family history.....I see the specialists twice a year and have a yearly mammogram and a yearly breast MRI. It was great news that I did not have the gene.....but it doesn't mean that I won't get breast simply means that the insurance company won't pay as much on my preventative care.

Having the cancer family history does not stop at breast cancer in my family. We also have a pretty heavy showing where colon cancer comes into play too. My mom, an aunt, uncle and cousin have all had it. My uncle had his first case in 1982 and then a recurrence in the last few years. Both times it was caught early and he is fine, but years ago he had genetic testing for the Lynch Syndrome gene which is often found in families with high occurrences of colon cancer. Having the gene can mean that my children's chances of also having the gene goes up abut 50% and their likely hood of having colon cancer in their lifetime also goes up immensely. The first time my uncle had the test back in the late 80's it came back negative. However....after having colon cancer again.....the drs. wanted to retest him....and this time the Lynch Syndrome gene was there.....loud and clear. Because of my family history....I have been having colonoscopies for about 15 years now. I was on the five year plan. Most people over the age of 50 get colonoscopies every 10 years for the rest of their lives (unless something is found). Because of  our family history, I was getting them every five years. Once my mom died from dr. started doing them every other year. Two weeks ago, I was tested for the LSG. If I have it, that means I will now be on the yearly plan. I should know Friday the outcome of the test.

About a year ago, I started with a pain in my left side. It is never "painful" per say, but it is uncomfortable. I went to my regular physician last year when it started and she felt that it was muscle related and gave me muscle relaxers. After awhile it went away. Then about two months ago it came back. It has become chronic and sometimes interferes with my ability to sit or lie down comfortably. On talking to my dr. about this....he felt it was probably a pretty significant reason to have another colonoscopy fairly soon (it has been a year and half since my last one). Needless to say, with my family history......I am a bit nervous. I am not going to lie....the "c" word scares me. And when my dr. suggested another colonoscopy, I jumped at it, because colon cancer is very curable if caught early....and a yearly uncomfortable procedure trumps dying every time. Besides, my kids have lost enough already....they don't need to lose me too!

So here is the part where I ask a favor. If you pray.....could you spare a prayer for me? I could really use some good news and it would definitely make the rest of the summer go a bit smoother for all of us. Good thoughts are very appreciated too! my friends, family and readers.....Good health is maintained through prevention. Most forms of cancer....if caught early are treatable and even curable. Women....if you are over thirty you need to be doing monthly breast exams. If you are over forty......yearly mammograms. Men if you are over fifty....yearly prostate exams should be a part of your world. And finally....for all of us.....if you are over fifty.....get to a dr. and get a colonoscopy. None of these procedures are particularly fun but all beat the alternative. Catching cancer early can mean the difference between life and death. Do it for yourself and do it for the ones you love.

And just a side note here....if Z's pass or fail in driver's ed is based on his mothers driving skills....Z won't be getting his license anytime soon. Yesterday as I was dropping him off for driver's ed and pulling out to leave, his teacher pulled into my blind spot and I almost hit him. In my defense...he WAS in my blind spot and I DIDN'T realize it was Z's teacher. Not that the latter really mattered. Z however did come home and tell me that his teacher cautioned him about checking his blind spot when pulling out or changing evidently his mother doesn't have that particular driving skill. Z was not pleased!

So I will today with a vintage commercial of sorts. Back in the day....every Saturday morning between our beloved cartoons were little diddy's called Schoolhouse Rock. They were catchy "rock" songs that helped kids learn everything from math to English. For years they were on and their repetitiveness stayed with you. To this day I remember most of the songs...and that is something considering I can't remember sh.....umm...errr...anything. Without Schoolhouse Rock...I might not have passed some classes and I am sure I am not the only one. So today I leave you with Interjection! Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!


Marni said...

Sending Prayers you way my always!!! And I LOVE School House Rock!!!!

Tamara said...

Praying for you! Take care!