Sporadic Thoughts on Cancer (and more than you ever wanted to know about a certain procedure)
Tuesday I had a sigmoidoscopy which, as usual, turned into a colonoscopy. For those who don’t know, the sigmoidoscopy (which is only done on the lower portion of the colon) is done while you’re awake and watching the whole thing on a TV monitor (as opposed to the more common full colonoscopy which is done while you’re under anesthesia). For me, though, because of my surgically altered colon, I feel no discomfort with a colonoscopy. So said procedure is billed as a sigmoido- (for insurance purposes) but performed as a colon0- without the anesthesia.
The procedure itself is rather uneventful and quick, the prep is awful and the aftermath is . . . interesting. You see, they pump air into your colon to inflate it so the little camera gets a good view. Well, when the whole thing is done you have a colon full of air and are sent on your way to enjoy the rest of your day. The rest goes without being said.
Now, besides all that, every time I get one of these things it gets me thinking about cancer (the reason for the scope and the colon full of air). Cancer gets me thinking about the battle that was and the future that will be.
A friend of mine (and fellow cancer survivor) told me once that when you’re going through cancer you think about it all day, every day–true–but as time puts distance between you and the battle you think on it less and less–also true. While I think about cancer less it still occupies my mind daily, several times a day. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what was and what may be.
Don’t get me wrong, I thank God for what He has done in my life and trust Him fully with my future. That’s not the issue. The issue is that cancer demands that you regularly take inventory of your life, and it forces you to put things into perspective.
I have hopes and dreams for the future, for this upcoming year. Are they important? Some of them, most, maybe. They all involve my family and our well-being, our togetherness. I have ideas about how I want my children to grow up, how I hope they remember me. I have wishes for Jen and me and how we’ll spend the next year and every year after that. And I don’t want cancer to get in the way of any of it.
Sorry to ramble on like this, I’m just sharing what’s on my mind as I write this. It’s hard sometimes for survivors and their loved ones because for those around us life goes on, it moves forward and the whole “cancer thing” is forgotten, but for us it’s never forgotten and that part of our life doesn’t go on, it’s still there, stuck on pause.
So let me ask you this, for those of you who are either cancer survivors or have had a loved one take on that beast, what’s your story? Do you still think about it? How often? Has it shaped the way you live, your motivations, your priorities? How?