My Colonoscopy

My Colonoscopy

Jun 14th 2007 11:20AM

I usually don’t talk about personal issues, but I thought this was important to share.

I’m getting to that age where it pays to be proactive and start getting tested for the myriad of things that can go wrong with my body. One of the things I wanted to get over with is a check for colon cancer. Although I’m officially younger than the “suggested age” for a colonoscopy, I wanted to get it out of the way. I had read and heard too many stories about people who found polyps and how if “they had only caught them a little sooner” it would be no big deal to remove them. So I set my appointment and went for it.

Like every guy, the thought of being violated by a long tube is at the very bottom of the list of things I want to do on a summer day. I could live with having to take all the laxatives that lead up to the procedure, That’s just more time to get my reading done. But the tube up the outdoor, that’s scary.

Well this morning was the morning. I had officially lost 4 pounds to the laxative over the past 24 hours and was surprisingly not hungry after going without food for the past 24 hours as I got to the hospital at the prime time of 7am.

I was definitely nervous. Despite doctors and nurses telling me it would be a breeze, I was naturally skeptical.

A breeze was an overstatement. I can honestly say that if it made medical sense to get one done every year, i would have no problem with it. It was easy and breezy :) .

Once I got into the Gastro Room where they did these, they told me that they were going to knock me out, and I would get a nap and wake up like nothing happened . They were right. One minute Im talking rugby, the next I’m waking up, picking up the conversation where I left off and being told to “dispell the air in my system”.

No where else can you rip off some huge farts and have 3 nurses and a doctor, while maintaining a very professional demeanor, tell you that you aren’t done yet and demand that you let loose a few more. Then it was up to get dressed and out the door so my wife could give me a ride home.

Now, about an hour later I’m obviously back at it.

I’m writing this post because I hated the fact that I was afraid of getting a colonoscopy. It honestly scared me. I don’t like hospitals. I don’t like entries into exit lanes and its scary as shit that they could find something. In other words I was a pussy when I shouldn’t have been.

Bottomline is that your life just might depend on getting tested for colon cancer. There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. It’s truly easy and breezy. Do it.

31 thoughts on “My Colonoscopy

  1. If your on the fence about a colonoscopy , check out this hilarious video.It will put your fears at ease.

    Comment by 2224west -

  2. Hi Mark. I’m doing the live blogging thing for my first colonoscopy. It’s my first blog ever as well.
    From some older blogs I’ve read, previous prep solutions have been extremely difficult to drink.
    Agreed that the prep has been relatively comfortable, up until where I am right now. Which I the point that I started looking for other blogs that might help calm my fears. You didn’t mention anything along the lines of a constipation feeling?
    For other looking to relate, find my blog here:
    http://colonoscopy.wordpress.com
    Thanks all.

    Comment by colonoscopy -

  3. Pingback: My Colonoscopy | Freedom Developers

  4. Hello Mark, going a step further, I just wonder what you would have thought/done if you would have found (God forbid) that you had a tumor. I personally think that our diets is the biggest assurance against any form of cancer. Regards

    Comment by gaizkaallende -

  5. Yeah… Tell me about it. I have to get one of these routinely (I have Ulcerative Colitis). It’s not bad, it’s just the thought really…

    Anyway, keep it up Mark… I love the blog…

    Comment by aggiesoft -

  6. Based on bad experiences I’ve sworn off all invasive procedures. My girl has been chipping away at this self imposed pact. Your post on this isn’t helping me stand my ground and I mean that in a good way. Thanks for pushing me outside my comfort zone on this one.

    Comment by robmthatswhatsup -

  7. Whoa, not the experience of most people at all. Most doctors do not put you under and most insurance does not cover it anyway. They are indeed important for people to get, but are quite uncomfortable and embarrassing for most of us. Try making conversation while you are wide awake and undergoing one with a doctor and 2 nurses there. They are great tools, but not breezy for most people who do NOT get knocked out.

    Comment by powercise -

  8. Due to colitis queries I had to have a colonoscopy yesterday. It was awful with all the laxatives etc, and the actual procedure was wierd as anything. Funnily enough I blogged it too! Well, I figured us ‘mummy bloggers’ go on about giving birth and all the gory details all the time, why not take it one step further and blog a colonoscopy. The farting was very very funny I have to say, although I felt obliged to say ‘pardon me!’ an awful lot. Good for you for being open about such things, and you weren’t on your own with being terrified, I cried I was that scared. If you’re interested I have a link http://wp.me/p1d7pP-AS Just if you’re bored! All the very best Kay @Chaoskay (Brink of Bedlam blog)

    Comment by brinkofbedlam -

  9. I can’t say enough about how important an issue this is. I appreciate someone that is a public figure talking about the process, the feelings, and also the result of your emotional journey.

    My father recently passed away from Prostate cancer and it was an incredibly hard process. Finding anything early on gives you the best chance, DON’T LET EMBARRASSEMENT kill you!!!

    It seems this topic can make many men feel “gay” or what have you, but please take Cubans voice to heart. It’s much better to live and be violated(if that’s the way you want to look at it), than die b/c you were too stubborn to get everything tested.

    Be a man for your family, your grandkids, and your friends and get tested. Nobody wants to say “what if”.

    Comment by Jd -

  10. A colonoscopy saved my life. At age 61 I finally went for one, at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, after noticing blood in my stool for a week or two. I had colon cancer. One week later I was in surgery. Part of my colon was removed along with a number of lymph nodes and my appendix. It turned out that the tumor had not penetrated the colon wall and all testing of the lymph nodes was negative. I did not opt for chemo and 8 years later I remain cancer free. The surgery had no effect on how I live or what I can eat. The follow up colonoscopies have led to the removal of polyps, but even this is a painless and simple procedure nowadays. Please get one, if you haven’t done so already.

    Comment by maduceone -

  11. There’s always risk.

    My grandfather went in for a routine colonoscopy. The doctor perforated his colon and he ended up dying.

    Comment by dereikopf -

  12. Funny I found this. I am 53 and for months I have been putting it off. My best buddy in Oregon just had this done, too. I asked my wife to schedule it last week because I am too big of a pussy to do it myself! I felt like I was reading my own thoughts as I read what Mark wrote. Nice job Mark! I am starting a sports biz and one of my charities benefits breast cancer and prostate cancer. I think I will add colon cancer so all bases are covered.

    Mark, hope you get a clean bill of health.

    Comment by ofg2424 -

  13. Colonoscopy,Congratulations Mavs and Things.

    Yay, Mark! Thanks for spreading the word.With your notoriety and influence, you did a great service today! Maybe saved a life.
    Because cancer is in our family, I started this procedure early, too. My husband is a Doc, Internal Medicine, and he sees all too often, illnesses that might have been prevented,if only…

    Off subject: Congratulations to you and your Mavs! Once the LA Lakers—I live in LA—were out, I was cheering for the Dallas Mavericks. Your honoring Don Carter was a touching highlight to a fabulous heartfelt win.
    Judy Jernudd, Judy@Startegic.com

    Comment by startegic -

  14. Mark, thank you so much for posting this and helping remove the stigma and fear about a colonoscopy. I was diagnosed in 2008 with Stage IV metastatic colon cancer that had spread to my ovaries and appendix. I was 41 years old. I had to have about a foot of colon removed along with the organs it had spread to. I’m currently undergoing my second trip through chemo (24 treatments the first time, 12 this time). When I told people about my diagnosis, a coworker said “I thought only old white guys got that?”

    Colon cancer is the only cancer that can be treated before it happens, by having a colonoscopy and removing polyps before they become cancerous. If someone has a family member who has had colon cancer, they should have their first colonoscopy 10 years earlier than the age their relative was diagnosed (IOW, my nieces should be tested at age 31).

    One of the reasons that breast cancer is found early nowadays is because of organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation helped to remove the stigma of breast cancer by openly talking about it, instead of hiding because OMG, breasts. We need more awareness to help remove the stigma about colon cancer, because people think it’s not nice to talk about your butt in public.

    Thank you for helping to raise awareness by telling about your experience.

    Leisa Heitman

    Comment by leihei -

  15. Without question, a very important subject to address, thanks for reposting this one. Worst part about them by far is the prep (totally agree with the poster who said avoid the juice if possible!)– though I’m quite a bit younger than the age most people have their first, had one last year at 30 due to symptoms and family history. Had another friend have to get one at about the same age, too. Anyways, nothing to the procedure itself, though I don’t take sedation well and woke up a few times and remembered… just a little abdominal pain though, and was more interested in trying to get a look at the screen. ;-)

    My husband has had to have a few, too– latest pretty recently, the result of a bad diverticulitis attack that perforated his colon and put him in the hospital for awhile a few times some months back. The scope this time was to check on the healing. Cancer is the big one people think of with what they look for, but there are other things like diverticulosis, and Crohn’s Disease they can look for signs of too.

    Comment by bucfanpaka -

  16. Wow I post that I have a MD with a cancer cure & I get 4 UPs but FOURTEEN DOWNS? You people are seriously messed up.

    Comment by kr1963 -

  17. Congratulations! I was only 42 when I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. It had spread from my colon to my spleen and lymphnodes. That was in 1998. I’m a 13 year survivor. :)

    Comment by paula3k -

  18. Great one! One in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime, and it’s one of the leading killers, yet most of it is able to be stopped if caught early. You owe it to yourself and your family (who will have to watch you go through treatment) to have a colonoscopy. I wrote about this on my blog too, after having mine this summer and I agree – it’s far easier than you think, but yep, stay home the day before while you prepare. Here’s my post on my experience, hope you don’t mind me sharing it with your readers: http://www.mediamum.net/2011/07/25/lets-talk-about-colon-cancer-and-you-yes-you/

    Comment by mediamum -

  19. I too had my first colonoscopy this spring. Mark ain’t lying…very easy. BUT if you have a choice between taking pills versus drinking a gallon of unpleasant “juice”, go for the pills.

    Comment by Bad Bad Leroy Brown -

  20. I wonder if the “virtual” colonoscopy is as reliable?

    Comment by dcangelo -

  21. @donniccolo They don’t tell you that stuff goes through you really fast. Was at Denny’s when it happened to me…. Good to know for the next time.

    Comment by Matches Malone -

  22. Thank you for posting! I went to the doctor at the age of 45 because of blood in my stool. Doctor said it was a tear and nothing o worry about. He also said I was too young for a colonoscopy. Now I am 47 and in a stage 4 colon cancer battle. I have had numerous colonoscopies and proctoscopes, 8 cycles of intense chemo, and 40% of my liver removed. I still have 5 weeks of radiation and chemo, followed by colon-rectal surgery. I am happy to say I am kicking it’s ass so far thanks to great team at MD Anderson and my faith on God and support of a great church. PLEASE get a colonoscopy at any signs and certainly as you get into your mid-40′s. It is definitely easy, and can save your life. I had no history of colon cancer in my family. Cancer does not discriminate and has no boundaries.

    Comment by strasj -

  23. Well said and kudos for you for sharing this! All men our age should be aware of this!

    Comment by petergilson -

  24. Good job, man. You should’ve started having these years ago! I started at 25 and I’m due for one this year. You are absolutely correct, it is a breeze. The worst part is the fast and the gooey drink prior to the actual procedure. Apparently when I awoke, I told the nurses that I was “high” and when they told me that was normal, I said, “you don’t understand, I’m REALLY high!”

    Comment by donniccolo -

  25. First, I am a huge fan and love what you do for sports and the city of Dallas (My friends and I were at The Loon with you guys celebrating)!

    Thanks for using your influential and normal pointed/witty/humorous voice to shed light on a very important topic. I unfortunately lost my father to colon cancer just over a year ago. He was diagnosed in his mid-50′s. So, I personally have felt the loss that this can bring about.

    Please continue to do all that you do, and I am glad to hear you’re being pro-active…..Your kiddos will thank you!! (….and Dallas isn’t done with seeing championships!!)

    Ben

    Comment by Ben Smithee -

  26. Hey Mark

    FYI you don’t have to worry about this sort of thing as I have found a MD who has developed a vaccine for cancer. I have taken it & had 6 tumors disappear in a week. I have helped 3 others onto the vaccine as well.

    I am KR1963 on twitter, KX RUSSELL on Facebook or email me at kurt @ theopenmat (dot) com if you would like some more info. You seem like you are genuinely interested in helping people this I thought I would just post this to give you more data. I hope yo hear from you.

    KR

    Comment by kr1963 -

  27. Colonscopy is ok, but doing a colonic irrigation every year is a good idea. Why just check the ass? Irrigate that ass.

    Comment by thebesttradingsystem -

  28. Thank you for sharing your personal story and the importance of this topic. My Dad got colon cancer. He had part of his intestine removed and his anus was sewn up. He had to wear a poop bag. It was humiliating for him. He received radiation treatments. He beat the cancer. Unfortunately, his body couldn’t take the treatments and he ultimately passed away on Dec. 19th, 2010.

    My Dad was 63 when he died.

    Comment by Tara Tiger Brown -

  29. Mark, thanks for this post. Your experience is not unlike that of many men, regarding health issues. I had my first colonoscopy several years ago. And while I had no qualms about having the procedure, I, too was consumed by the “what if” question.

    However, my “what if” focused on ‘what if’ I did not have the colonoscopy done, and later discovered there were early signs of cancer that could have been detected. My doctor assured me that if, during the procedure, polyps were discovered, they could be immediately removed. fortunately there were none. I continue with the procedure, at the recommended intervals, and try to keep a proactive approach with all my health concerns. It remains true: prevention is the best medicine. Again, thanks for raising this subject. Stay vigilant with all your other matters of health, and encourage other men (and everyone) to do so.

    Comment by genecar -

  30. What is the suggested age? Good to hear everything’s okay.

    Comment by Matches Malone -

  31. You are so correct. There is nothing to it and everyone should be proactive and have yourself checked!
    Vicki

    Comment by gg4you4170 -

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