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I had plans to make this entry an intriguing and exciting post …but common sense prevailed so here it is…………. in simple plain language……..

When I was 16 I had my appendix out…so long ago, who can remember?

In my early 50’s I had laproscoptomy surgery to remove my gallbladder, a large stone was discovered during a chest X-Ray and it was thought that seeing I was a pilot, it should be removed. It was removed on a Friday, I went home on Sunday, was working my snow blower on Monday and back flying on Tuesday.

(Airline MO was not happy about that sequence when he found out about it 4 months later during my semi annual medical)

So here we are in 2011

The month of May was what I would call rather "blaaaaa”. I was not feeling that great, seemed tired every few days. This was the month when I prepped the boat for our summer…seemed possible I was just getting a bit older…yeah that had to be it.

Finally Scuba02 hounded me so much that at the end of May I went to see our GP…..Full blood test required….result …extremely low red blood cells- severe anemia…loosing blood somewhere…..WHAT !!!!!??? GP said I would need to be scoped from top to bottom ASAP in the mean time Iron pills… pronto.

Scoped top to bottom on 26 June…result, as I awoke from what is called “twilight anesthesia” was The doctor by the bed , shoulder to shoulder with Scuba 02 and his first words were, "You have cancer in your colon and it has to come out."

What?, Who is he talking to?, I twisted my head to see if there was someone beside me , no one there……....I looked back and saw Scuba02’s eyes filling and I knew I was the intended recipient of his comments.

Long story short, because someone I didn’t personally know, but knew me, I was hustled through the red tape, underwent all the required protocol and was in surgery in a minimum amount of time.

Prior to surgery I had 3 major concerns…..

1) had the cancer spread outside the colon ?

2) would I require a colostomy bag attachment?

3) how successful would the operation be?

Scuba02 and I devised a signal that would be relayed to me when I was wheeled out of recovery that would indicate that ALL was well because if any of you have had surgery you know damned well that when you open your eyes you can talk but initially you will be damned if you can remember what you said or heard…visual clues , however do remain with ones mind.

I remember being wheeled out and seeing Scuba02 by the bed with her forefinger on her thumb….the perfect circle……..the international scuba signal that everything was OK !!!!! Relief.!!!!

So here I sit, after 5 days in hospital with about 34 staples in a line from below my breastbone to just below the naval and the next item is to have them removed in 7 days.

What is you point Kip………?

Very simple…….don’t fool yourself into thinking “it will never happen to me”. As far as I know I have no history of cancer in my family,(I never have known who my birth father is…...I was adopted), so once again I became a “first” in our family, but not an envious “first” in this case.

When to have that first colonoscopy ?? That is a real dilemma but “generally" it is accepted that starting at age 50 one should endure the procedure every 10 years. Family member with cancer….then every 3 or 5 years. Cancer is insidious and there is no data that indicates a fixed progression of growth. I my case I wasn’t due for another check for a year…but such is life….no guarantees.

The colonscopy procedure..

For a fact it is less painful that having a minor tooth filled. NO, it is not the Canada Arm being rammed up your rectum by a team of high kicking draw mules. In a nutshell…one takes a oral laxative the day before, one gets a little IV drip, one gets a “twi-light/light switch type” anesthetic, 10 minutes later one wakes up, hears the verdict and gets a lift home….(no driving for 24 hours).

PS……..If for some reason your doctor does not want to use an anesthetic, you have the right to request an anesthesiologist to attend…...I know I would have.

The end….

If this post causes just one individual to reaconsider their thinking about the colonoscopy procedure, it will have been worth the use of all this bandwidth.

If you have any questions about my entire episode please feel free to PM me

And lastly, if you are as lucky to have a woman as steadfast and true as my Scuba02, no matter what happens…you will make it.

JENN……now you know the details and thanks for your confidentiality.

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I'm glad to hear you had a good GP, and the health system didn't fail you, and that you got the best possible outcome. thumbup.gif

That's great news.

Do I understand correctly that you were about nine years in after your last colonoscopy? My doctor prefers a seven year cycle, but I guess there is no hard and fast protocol.

I don't even consider the colonoscopy as big a deal as you describe it. I've had two and I'm younger than you, and each time I it was not nearly the thing some people build it up in the minds to be. I'd rather have a colonoscopy than dental work. The prep for a colonoscopy - drinking vile fluids to purge yourself - is harder than the colonoscopy itself. And that's not what I would call a major hardship.

One word of advice to all. In some jurisdictions, solo specialists or general clinics do colonoscopies, but it's better to get referred to a lower bowl speclalist clinic that does colonoscopies all the time. They tend to have state of the art equipment, and diagnosticians who don't miss a thing, however small. And they tend to have a great bedside manner to put you at ease about the procedure.

The other preventative you can do is diet. I'm not going to go into a long dissertation about this because there is a massive amount of info online, but eating lots of fibre, whole grains, etc., and cutting down on excessive consumption of red meat, refined foods like white flour, sugar, etc., is not only colon-friendly but also helps reduce the risks of a range of cancers.

And drink lots of red wine. I don't know if your colon will appreciate it, but the rest of you will.laugh.gif

Edited by dagger
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Well Kip, I'm sorry your summer of boating was interrupted by the big "C", but I'm happy to know that you're on the mend. thumbs_up.gif

My 50th is right around the corner and my insides will be on TV soon afterwards. And I've been told that one should never allow the doctor to perform the procedure without an anesthetic. A flinch by the patient at the wrong moment can result in an perforated bowel.

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Do I understand correctly that you were about nine years in after your last colonoscopy? My doctor prefers a seven year cycle, but I guess there is no hard and fast protocol...............................

.................................I don't even consider the colonoscopy as big a deal as you describe it. I've had two and I'm younger than you, and each time I it was not nearly the thing some people build it up in the minds to be. I'd rather have a colonoscopy than dental work. The prep for a colonoscopy - drinking vile fluids to purge yourself - is harder than the colonoscopy itself. And that's not what I would call a major hardship.

..........................................The other preventative you can do is diet. I'm not going to go into a long dissertation about this because there is a massive amount of info online, but eating lots of fibre, whole grains, etc., and cutting down on excessive consumption of red meat, refined foods like white flour, sugar, etc., is not only colon-friendly but also helps reduce the risks of a range of cancers.

...................

And drink lots of red wine. I don't know if your colon will appreciate it, but the rest of you will.laugh.gif

You are correct, The initial sequencing was always 10 years but as you stated it, varies from doctor to doctor. I think that perhaps a 5 or 7 year cycle would have been better....in my case.

The laxitive I have used, (twice in 3 weeks), is called PICO SALAX and it is actually not that bad...comes in cranberry flavour. Once starts out with one envelope which makes 5 fluid ounces and then at least 1 or 2 litres of water or clear juice every hour for the next three hours....repeat another envelope at a set time depending on colonoscopy or surgery ...but I agree it is probably the most difficult part of the process.

Looking at 97 bottles of red wine here, (Shiraz) that we will tackle in a few weeks !!!;)

PS..Belleville General Hospital does approximately 25-30 colonoscopys a day....I sure didn't expect that number. At my pre-op consult my anesthesiologist said he had just completed 17 and that was at 2:00pm that day !!!

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PS..Belleville General Hospital does approximately 25-30 colonoscopys a day....I sure didn't expect that number. At my pre-op consult my anesthesiologist said he had just completed 17 and that was at 2:00pm that day !!!

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "working with a#$holes", doesn't it? biggrin1.gif

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Kip:

First of all glad you're still with us.

Have a restful summer, the boat will be there when you're ready.

Hopfully they have caught everything in time, and you will probably monitor yourself more closely. Like you I took my time getting myself checked out, luckily for me I came back negative on the tests.

You have a full life left, enjoy yourself as much as you can.

Best wishes

manwest

:cool::cool::cool::m:

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Shouldn't you have posted an OT to indicate that this post was off topic :)

Good post Kip and hopefully all works out. A good reminder for those of us to get checked. You posted a good narrative to show a first hand experience for those who have never themselves had cancer or someone close to them have cancer.

Sincere best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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I think I am up to #6 in colonoscopies due to increased monitoring because of a three generation history on my mother's side. (She died in her fifties from colon cancer). The fact that we have this sort of screening available is a gift, we are fortunate.

The Co. Doc made a comment when discussing this, he said that with proper screening colon cancer could be considered a preventable disease. I was initially on three year repeats which has now become five year intervals which I am understandably pleased about but. If developments can be caught at the polyp stage that is the way to do it.

As a matter of interest the Doc who was responsible for initiating my screening program was the YUL company Doc. I am grateful to him.

Edited to add: having just posted this I realize that I had better pre-empt the inevitable snide remarks about my ID name. :018:

Add to the edit, joining those who wish you a speedy recovery.

Edited by Innuendo
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Congrats to Scuba 2 for being a pest hey Kip? Good wives do that for good husbands, vis versa. Glad your OK, I have a friend who last year was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and amyloydosis, she's in remission but lost her colon. Not so bad, she's alive and dealing with the "bag." Better than the alternative thats for sure.

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Kip, so glad to hear you're on the mend! And thanks for not making me wait too long for the news - I was maybe kinda sorta somewhat starting to get a little worried. :(

Now, time to start flushing out the system with vino rosso, and get back on the boat!

xoxoxo

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Good post, Kip, and glad you are on the mend.

If you are around the big 5-0, just get it done. If need be, there are private clinics that will do it with virtually no wait.

The only thing hurt is your pride, though I do recall leaving the Mayfair Clinic and wandering around YYC for the rest of the day feeling like a severely over inflated bicycle tire and thinking about the Monty Python sketch about rating your embarassment. For the record, I was C: Good Evening. :shhh:

Furthermore, if things aren't functioning as they should, get checked IMMEDIATELY. The survival rate is very high if they get on top of it early. I know of someone in recent weeks who let a very obvious issue go for a year. They operated last week and caught it early, but it would have been so much easier if she'd dealt with it last summer.

:cool:

Edited by Thebean
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Sorry to hear we won't see you on the Rideau here in Ottawa this year Kip. Congratulations though for the courage to post something so personal. But everyone is right here - us males think of ourselves as impervious to disease especially crossing the big five-oh line. We have to learn to cease with the navel-gazing and focus on other parts of our anatomy. One more affliction most males are unaware of is breast cancer. Men get it too! Have a lump? Check it out...

Now maybe a little more discussion of Australia's best reds? :icon_pidu:

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Too bad there aren't any. :stirthepot:

:wink_smile:

Jeff,

You know better than that :064::Grin-Nod:

In the long run it doesn't matter what argument one puts up about their alcohol preferences, it will be debated by someone...fact of life.

As I grew/grow older I have moved away from the hard stuff....never really was into it as my stepfather was an alcoholic and I saw what booze could do to a person but I/we have gravitated toward wine, in particular "the Brew-by You" outlets.

We have been in love with an Australian Shiraz now for about 5 years and we have on occasion taken it to a few folks house for a BYOB party and have had a couple of folks rave about the wine and wondering where they can get it.....(We actually put the generic labels that come with the kit on our "take-out" bottles)

The trick with this wine is to let it sit for a year, or even better, two.

Never could find white "Brew by You" we liked until this year. While at the shop this year the fellow asked us to sample a white called Green Apple Mist. Just bloody excellent and a great afternoon wine. We did up 2 batches and this is one that does not require any significant aging. A hint of green apple aroma and a delicate taste of freshly picked green apples.

I'm certainly no wine "con-a-sewer" but at the present time those are our two favourites, one of which is an Australian Shiraz.(( both wines work out to be about $4.00/bottle with 14-17% alcohol content)

PS..thanks for the good wishes....DKP

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Glad all is well Kip. At 67 I've never had a one of those procedures but maybe I should eh?

Get busy now and enjoy the summer. Speaking of summer we are still waiting for it to begin out here on the island. While everyone else is sweltering in the heat we've only had a couple of days above 20 out here. Right now it's 8:30AM and 13 degrees.

Once again I'm so glad it turned out well Kip. I love happy endings. :)

Greg

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:wink_smile:

Glad all is well Kip. At 67 I've never had a one of those procedures but maybe I should eh?

Get busy now and enjoy the summer. Speaking of summer we are still waiting for it to begin out here on the island. While everyone else is sweltering in the heat we've only had a couple of days above 20 out here. Right now it's 8:30AM and 13 degrees.

Once again I'm so glad it turned out well Kip. I love happy endings. :)

Greg

South of Duncan, there have been a grand total of 13 days this year with a high temp over 20.

It's July 15th, the days are getting shorter and the warmest it's been was a scorching 23.8 on July 6th.

Ahh...southwest BC, the land of endless spring temperatures...

:wink_smile:

Edited by Thebean
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Kip

Congrats on the outcome! BTW, alcohol is very bad for us, regardless of source. We often hear people claim that 'wine' is good for you. If one wants the benefits of grapes, drink grape juice. Grape juice has all the desirable properties of wine, but without the deleterious properties of alcohol.

JO

"And I've been told that one should never allow the doctor to perform the procedure without an anesthetic".

That may be the 'opinion' of one practitioner, but as a blanket policy, it wouldn't be correct.

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Hey Kip,

Glad to hear that all went well. Colon cancer is one of the most curable (if that is the correct word) of all the cancers - if it is caught in time. I have a colonoscopy every 5 years and am scheduled for my third this Fall.

I thought that you might get a kick out of this, particularly if you haven't seen it before:

Take care and enjoy the rest of the summer!

Cheers,

Doug

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Okay av8tor, I am very confused now. We received an email from ACPA this week about the passing of a retired Captain Douglas L. Moore, and I thought it was you!

I was even going to mention it on the forum. Glad to see you're still with us! :thumbup:

Cheers, Jennifer

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