Another Peek at My Colon
I’m tired; I’m hungry; I’m nauseous; I spent most of last evening in the WC.
This morning I have a routine sigmoidoscopy to make sure there’s nothing growing in my colon that shouldn’t be there. I’m used to these things by now. Let me see, I think this one will make number five since having my ostomy reversed last year. No sweat.
Which reminds me, this month I celebrate two and a half years of being a cancer survivor. I’ve been told it gets easier as time passes, that you think less and less about being a “cancer guy.” I guess that’s true. Where I used to think about it every hour, now I only think about it every few hours.
It doesn’t help when you get reminded of the seriousness and distemperment of cancer on a regular basis. In the past three months I’ve talked to one man who is a retired cancer researcher from the NIH. When I told him I was a colon cancer survivor his entire demeanor changed. He’d spent his life dealing with the monster and knew the teeth it had. He told me he didn’t want to be negative but he’d seen it happen so many times that someone would “beat” cancer only to be ambushed years later. It was a foe no one could quite figure out.
Then I met a woman who was diagnosed with colon cancer six years ago. She went through the same treatment I did and was cleared after five years. Blood work all looked great, colonoscopies came out clean, CAT scans were perfect. Then one day she gets a cramp in her side that won’t go away. She sees the doctor and he runs some tests, does a biopsy on her liver. The colon cancer had metastasized to her liver, right under everyone’s noses.
Not exactly a mood-lifter.
Cancer is not a once-and-done thing. You don’t get it, fight it, beat it, and forget about it. It’s there, always lingering in the shadows of your mind, always whispering threats in your ear. It’s the stranger who follows at a comfortable distance but close enough that you feel the need to constantly look over your shoulder. Only this is no stranger . . . we’re old acquaintances.
Every time I get one of these tests done I start thinking about this stuff. The nerves get a little rattled.
I realize there’s really nothing I can do about it. I exercise; I eat well; I don’t eat red meat; I do everything they tell me to do. The rest is in God’s hands. He’s knows what’s best and I’m still learning to believe that.