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 latern 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. Its truly easy and breezy. Do it.
177 thoughts on “My Colonoscopy”
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Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
Your, Raiul Baztepo
Comment by RaiulBaztepo -
I had my first colonoscopy yesterday(March 10)I consider it my 50th birthday gift to myself.Despite the fact that I’ve been a nurse for 29 years,I was very nervous,partly because that’s just my personality,and partly beacause my beloved partner Val died of cancer(breast) last Sept-she never bothered with mammograms or physicals,despite my urgings.Anyway,it was a breeze.The worst part was being on a clear liquid diet the day before-I was starving.As far as the prep,it was more unpleasant than awful-made really good friends with my toilet.The procedure was very easy-the nurses were very kind,and the Dr was very gentle.He has a rep for making sure pts are very comfortable during procedures.Last thing I remember was them giving the Demerol/Versed injection and asking if I felt lightheaded,and me saying”No.not yet” and turning to my left side.Next thing I knew, I was awake and back in the holding area,being given ginger ale,and being told by the Dr everything normal!I would do it again in a heartbeat.Early detection is crucial,and well worth the inconvenince.
Comment by Laura -
I was referred for this test at a large endoscopy center. Unfortunately, the doctor who did the test was more interested in how quickly he could do the exam rather than patient care. It was excruciatingly painful because he went so fast and tried to muffle my cries with more of the amnesia meds that they give (so that patients don’t rememeber the exam).. Finally, my screaming forced them to stop; I was confused and sobbing and severly depressed from the Versed. One of the nurses said that I slapped the doctor when he made fun of my crying (I don;t remember)…..The exam was not completed. A month later, I rescheduled the exam with a wonderful woman doctor who took her time and explained everthing as she went alon; th exam was comfortable and without drugs.
Comment by Jenn -
It’s a shame that colonoscopies are usually done with amnesia drugs such as Versed; the poor patient is often writhing in agony as the nurses stand around like potted plants and the doctor is laughing because they think that the drug will cause amnesia. Wrong. Many people are haunted by the uncaring and rough treatment during colonoscopy; if the doctor would slow down a little and use a little care, it would not be a painful exam and date-rape drugs such as Versed would not be used. Versed is awful, a colonoscopy with it is a traumatic event with sometimes permanant mental consequences for the patient, in as much as 25% of the exams. Wake up, people..thats a lot. insist that your gastro not use Versed. If they say “just a little” write “no Versed” on the consent. you will be glad that you did. lauren (endo nurse since 1982)
Comment by Lauren -
Great post… it shares the sentiments of many people facing a first-time colonoscopy: fear, and then relief. Most people say the prep is the worst part, and that eating lightly two days before the procedure can be helpful. Other people’s stories (and advice) from HealthAngle.com (edited and doctor-reviewed patient stories) can also be helpful to those facing their first colonoscopy: http://www.healthangle.com/procedures/colonoscopy
Comment by Robert -
I have been having stomach problem’s off and on for years. My new doctor decided I needed one done soon so we can find out why I’m having the symptoms I am. I’m due to have it done this Friday. I’ve been reading up on it and i’m still scared. Reading what you have offered help’s a little. I’m also 37.
Comment by mischelle -
Just had a colonscopy without sedation and it a breeze in and out in 1 hour flat. some discomfort NOT pain. if you have the B@#$s do it no recovery time .
Comment by Kabi -
Thanks for the post, even though i read this after i had mine done, i
t was very similar to the way you described it. if i had known i woul
have had it done sooner. the worst part about this is the laxative
you have to take the night before. even the fasting for 24 hrs gives
you some perspective on life how obsessed we are with food.
Comment by joseph -
I go in for my colonoscopy tomorrow…thank you for helping me to not get completely freaked out!
Comment by Celeste -
Mark, Thanks for your informative, humorous post! I am scheduled to have my very first one on Wednesday, have been scared sh#*tless (pardon the pun) I told my doctor I didn\’t want to have one because that is the only virgin spot I have left. He laughed but insisted I get one because of my age. I am 53. Your post has made me feel better! Thanks! Vicki
Comment by Vicki Smith -
I had my first colonoscopy done yesterday. I\’m a 47 year old guy and my mother died of this disease. Because I was a little nervous about the procedure (that\’s an exit dammit!) I was looking on the web for others\’ experiences. Well breathe easy guys, it was no big deal. The sedation they give you works great but doesn\’t leave you completely knocked out. I didn\’t feel anything at all; I mean nothing. It took about 2 hours from check-in to check-out, and the actual procedure took about 15 minutes. I stopped to get a big sandwich on the way home- I was so godamned hungry. Good thing I had it done because they found and removed 4 small polyps that might, over time, become a problem, ie cancer. The doctor says to get another one in three years. I\’m telling you, don\’t risk your life. If you\’re near my age or have someone in your family history that had this disease, go tomorrow!
Comment by Tony -
Thanks so much for this post! It is helping me. However, I am still TERRIFIED!!!! I usually trust people, I am having a difficult time trusting for this. I have talked to a few people that have nightmare stories about this procedure. I NEED more positive stories. I am so scared!!! Susan
Comment by Susan Sicard -
Loved the story! I get one in about 3 weeks(my first). I\’ve heard stories about having to expel the air inside of your colon. That\’s hilarious! I think I would rather be alone during this because I won\’t be able to stop laughing if other people are in the room. Farts are just funny!
Comment by Robyn -
I\’m female and 34 years old. I have Crohn\’s disease and am going in for yet another colonoscopy on Monday (i have had numerous tests over the years). There are many different approaches to anesthesia used by doctors these days – some will use lumbar punctures, some use fentanyl combinations, and some will use a combination of nitrous-oxide and a light anesthetic to put the patient into a \”twilight sleep\” where the patient is semi to fully conscious during the procedure. The person who had been given no anesthetic I feel very sorry for. It sounds quite unpleasant to say the least; I had a flex sig which was completely anesthetic-free and was really uncomfortable.
Then again, I\’d rather suffer the pain and know that I am cancer-free, as my risk of developing colon cancer is much higher than the average Jane.
Comment by Heather -
Thanks for the info Mark.My doctor schedulded me for an endoscopy and suggested a Colonoscopy.I was afraid.I will get it done and request to be put to sleep.
Comment by Denise -
Oh! but Is it the think that you know earlier??
Comment by Christopher -
Thank you sooooooo very much on your encouraging words. I went and did a search on colonoscopy and found your article. You have really put my mind at ease. I too am younger than the recommended age (36) and have to have one done tomorrow because my hemoglobin was found to be 7 and dropping. I was scared shitless per se but your words are easing my mind.
Thank you again for writing this.
Comment by Gina -
Rita, I was told it is demerol (I don\’t know how to spell it) that you are given and that it causes a twilight state with amnesia. All I know is that I woke up and felt absolutely fine! My experience with it is that if you don\’t remember pain, you didn\’t experience pain. That is the actual experience of it. I was totally fine. Don\’t be scared!
Comment by Sabrina -
Thanks Mark. Just had a big belly laugh at the farting. Maybe this will keep a smile on
my face throughout the procedure which is tomorrow (yikes!).
Comment by EM -
my wife is advised for colonoscopy. there is something/s grown in her colon. but she needs to have 4 bags of blood transfusion. she has low platelet count -6 – against the normal 13. 3 months ago she had a hysterectomy that required 3 bags of blood transfusion. my mother-in-law is taking care of her as i am far away. they are now looking for blood. i am scared
Comment by rey n cossid -
Hi, I read your article and it was very relieving as I am only 16 years old and am getting one in the fall. I was just wondering how long did this procedure take? And how long did it take to get the results back?
Comment by charla -
Has anyone not been able to take the prep? I (forgive my bluntness) threw it all up about half way through it. It wasn\’t becaue it tasted so bad . . . now I have to reschedule.
Comment by Peggy Feldman -
I heard that while you are sedated and having a colonoscopy that you actually feel it and it hurts and is awful but that the drugs cause amnesia (as a side effect, but one that docs like of course) and that you just don\’t remember the experience.
An anesthesiologist on a plane told me this. He was cool and honest. Now I am terrified. I don\’t want to feel it and then later say it was nothing just because I don\’t remember it.
Can anyone verify?
Comment by Rita Kane -
Thanks, I have mine tomorrow!
Comment by Michael T. -
Some of the funniest stories I tell are the one\’s where I have to bend over for the doctor. I too am at that age now. My doc is a young(er) man out of the military, we joke around…I ask him if he is going to respect me in the morning…etc…
Makes a possible unpleasant situation at least bearable…
Comment by Peer -
Thanks for this post. I\’m going for my first in a week and a half or so. Like you younger (I\’m 46), and nervous… I was just googling around for facts and though wikipedia and medical sites make it sound pretty routine, it\’s good to hear from somebody who just went through it. And from your commenters too. I\’ll have to ask for pics from mine!
Comment by lisa -
I have to admit the whole colonscopy thing was nowhere near as terrible as I expected it to be. I don\’t remember anything from \”Count backwards from 100\” to waking up in recovery.
Hey, do you ever think about Eric Fenster and Russia?
Comment by Joey Robichaux -
Gosh, am I ever glad to hear it was easy and breezy. I am getting my first one ever in about a week.
Comment by Rhea -
Thank you very much for this blog! I am a 39yo male going for his first colonoscopy tomorrow (7/23/07), and have been nervous about this whole procedure. I am getting anaesthesia, so I hope I fall asleep quickly and wake up to being told to \’dispell the air\’. They (doctors) did ask if I wanted to do it \’natural\’ or with anaesthesia, and I immediately said \”anaesthesia\”. I definitely do not want to watch the procedure live via webtv. Those poor folks who went through it sans anaesthesia. And I really hope to not get 8 x 10 glossies… hehehe. Thanks again.
Comment by FrequentFlier -
I don\’t see any mention of what this procedure cost all of the posters. I was under the impression that a doctor recommended colonoscopy was covered by insurance minus you\’re copay of course but unfortunately I was told that not only did I have to pay the copay ($50.00) but I was also responsible for 15% of the procedure cost which my insurance company (United Health Care) would not pay. I don\’t know if this is because St. Francis Health Care Systems in Tulsa over-charges for the procedure of UHC is just a lousy insurance providor. I mean, I have to pay a huge premium each year (payrole deducted) for health care coverage and then when I need something done they won\’t pick up the expense. Whats the use!
Comment by Stevekc43 -
Ok so the deed has been done. Like I requested they went easy on the juice to put me to sleep and i do remember the pain when they turned the \”corner\”. Which was caused by scar tissue that had formed from a previous surgury. This was no way as scarry as I played it up to be in my mind. Having found nothing except some evidence of not enough fiber in my diet I am weel. For everyone who is considering or putting it off like i do, the stress of not knowing and wondering about the procedure is far worse than the actual thing. Go For IT! Hey Thanks Mark!!!!
Comment by Rhoda -
OMG I am having one done first thing in the morning… They are kocking me out and I am more affraid of the \”sleeping\” part than the \”going in the out\”. I am 42 and have avoided this for 2 years. But a new Dr. and a decision to take care of \”issues\” or blood in my stoll force me to move forward. Thanks for the encouragement! GOING FOR IT! \’praying\”
Comment by RedGarland -
ROFLMAO at that Mark 😀
I have been contemplating getting it done but I too am not anxious about having some hottie nurse see me when I am at my most vulnerable. Geez, what if it\’s really cold and my family jewels go into hiding? What to do….
Comment by MLK -
I just had my first colonsocopy and EDG (downt the throat to the stomach)last week.I to like Mark was afraid. Im 52 and hadnt had one. the post test had found blood in my stool. I fretted all week prior to the exam. I took the stuff to prepare and made 15 trips to the mens room for number two movements the day before. Believe me I was empty when i arrived at the hospital the next morning. The first thing they did was to give me an intravenous to start re-hydration , I think, and it was through that IV that they where going to administer the \”twilight medication\”. When I got into the room for the procedure the doctor was there with two nurses. They hooked me up to I think an ekg machine with those electrodes on my chest, then they put a big yellow pacifier in my mouth and strapped it to the back of my head (for the EDG) the doctor asked me to open my mouth and he looked inside but siad nothing. the next thing that happend was him telling the nurse to adminster the twilight stuff and she shot it into the IV, the doctor then said he was going to do the EDG first and the colonoscopy second…the nurse asked me if I felt anything and I told her no and the doctor said give him the other one. The nurse put that in the IV and thats the last thing I remember. I woke up what seemed like moments later in another room starving and a little buzzed. I asked for food and they gave me apple juice and a mini bluberry muffin…i stayed there for awhile and then was released. they found two begnign polyps and removed them and a little gastritis in my stomach. So im on a no acidity diet and a proton inhibitor. Im glad i went and like Mike said the procedure was nothing. I didnt feel a thing during or after.
Comment by Ernest -
that is just halarious (how you put it…not the idea of a colonoscopy)
Comment by Jordan K -
A cardiologist died and was given an elaborate funeral. A huge heart covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the service.
Following the eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside. The heart then closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever.
At that point, one of the mourners burst into laughter. When all eyes stared at him, he said, \”I\’m sorry, I was just thinking of my own funeral…I\’m a gynecologist.\”
That\’s when the proctologist fainted!
Comment by mary Clemente -
hehehe… I haven\’t read your blog for a while, so pardon so many comments in the same day. I am 24 and have had 3 colonoscopy\’s because I have Colitis. Usually when I wake up, I mention it\’s a good thing I am of legal age, or ask them if they feel guilty, ask for a copy of the video.
They usually take it in good humor. The worst part about getting my colon inspected, is taking the Half-Lytely crap the night before.. the one that cleans your system out real good before you go in.
Comment by Jon Sanderson -
I have had four colonoscopies done, two in US and two in Europe. In US I declined the dozing off as I needed to get back to work right away and in Europe it is not even customarily offered because it is not necessary. In my opinion, there is absolutely no need for it either. I wanted to make this statement to help others to through this procedure without any fear. Despite the Reader Comment nr 1, it is a piece of cake, really. Obviously, the way the patient feels, depends on the skills of the examining doctor (I know because my very experienced doctor here in Finland made it way better than the very experienced doctor in California) but it also depends on how one can relax during the examination. Some people might feel embarrased about it and the way one needs to let the air out but there is no need for that as it is a medical procedure with the professionals who have done it a hundred times before. So go for it, take the nap if you feel like it but remain conscious if you want to be alert the rest of the day. Either way, it is a breeze and it can save your life. It did that for me.
Comment by Timo Erno -
I will be 50 in a few weeks and I have missed the last few colonoscopy appointments… your words of encouragement will push me forward. I will opt for the general. thanks
Comment by Russ Medina -
I recently underwent a colonoscopy and endoscopy (sedated) for the first time at the age of 34 (female). My GE has been trying to diagnose why I have chronic diarrhea and lower abdominal cramping (1.5 years). And yes, I tried all sorts of elimination diets prior!
The doctor\’s office (pre-visit) and later the hospital (for the actual procedure) were amazing. I was slightly worried about being sedated (remember someone else needs to drive you home) as I\’ve never been through that before but it all went very smoothly. Everyone explained everything in detail and gave me information sheets. There was nothing left to \”guess\” and I felt very comfortable during the whole procedure and also about asking questions. I gathered information from the internet, including Wikipedia, to better inform myself about what would happen and why. I will briefly tell you what happened (along with helpful pointers):
–> The day before the procedure I started the Halflytley Bowel Prep Kit I had obtained from the pharmacy the week before. For the clear liquid diet I stuck with Sprite all the way. Right about 2 hours after taking the 2 tablets at noon, the first BM came along. From there, and all throughout drinking the solution every 10 minutes as others have mentioned, I had dozens of pure watery BMs. I vomited once, which can be expected, and also felt quite gassy throughout. This is where I want people to take note: your bum is not used to this many BMs, nor wiping all the time. Even the wet bathroom tissues were painful. I would suggest asking for advice and using a diaper/nappy cream if possible…you really do need a barrier as I was literally in tears due to pain on the outside. It took til 2 days after for me to recover just from this. I was never further than 10 steps from a toilet because the BMs come on suddenly and exit quickly. Plan on being stuck in and getting through this in once piece. This was by far the worst part of the colonoscopy. By the next morning I had only 1-2 small watery BMs just before the procedure.
–>For women: I suggest take a urine sample container home with you before you start the above preparation. The morning of the procedure I had to give a urine sample and was just about fresh out of anything remotely resembling urine as I had emptied myself all too well with the above. I wasn\’t allowed anything to drink at all after midnight and nothing on the morning of the procedure and apparently you give the urine sample as they take a pregnancy test minutes before.
–>Upon arrival at the hospital clinic, I checked in and had a short wait before a nurse did the prep work. She got me into a gown (complete with sockies and a warm blanket) and inserted an I.V. with electrolytes. I had never had an I.V. and I was surprised at how painless it was. Another short wait and I walked into the colonoscopy room.
–>For the procedure my GE doctor came from his office to the hospital, and in the room with him was a colonoscopy tech and a nurse. I was introduced to everyone, they explained what they were doing, I signed some paperwork and moments later I was sedated. I felt nothing and never stirred during. Upon waking
(I believe it was about 40 minutes later), my doctor greeted me and told me that everything looked fine, but he did take 4-5 biopsies to send off for further analysis. I was wheeled into the recovery room where I was given fruit juice. The nurse was very good to me and explained to my husband and I about the
follow up—what to eat and when and when to go back in for the results. She was there to make sure I could sit up properly and had me sit for a while before standing. Be aware there is quite a lot of air to expel afterwards and this was encouraged by the nurse. Though I was a little bit groggy within the
hour I felt just fine and had my first meal in 2 days.
–>When I left the hospital I had a follow up sheet to take home with all the instructions and appointment information and also 10 color images on a sheet of paper from the colonoscopy and 6 from the EGD (esphagogastroduodenoscopy) or endoscopy exam. They are absolutely fascinating and this whole experience has helped educate me in how my entire digestive system works.
–>I just found out today that my biopsies came back normal so I\’m going back in 2 weeks for the Pillcam (especially for small intestine viewing). I will write about this after the procedure and results are back.
Whatever your reason for needing/wanting/being referred for a colonoscopy and endoscopy (and I\’m well aware there are risks in this type and many other types of procedures), please be aware that the procedure can go very smoothly and you can gain vital information in diagnosing.
Comment by lisa -
I had a colonoscopy as I was getting out of the Air Force in \’01 because I had blood in my stool. I was 28 at the time and wanted to have it checked out before I lost my medical insurance. Like so many others here have explained, they didn\’t knock me out or give me a sedative. I can honestly say it was far worse than when I tore my ACL and MCL snow skiing. In fact, I think they (the doctors) thought it was fun or maybe ironic that at the same time I was screaming in agony on the table my wife was upstairs going into labor. I know she just wanted to share a little bit of her pain with me. How thoughtful!
Comment by Paul -
Comment by The go9500i Project -
With new treatment methods a lot of interventions might be done after earlier detection through transluminal endoscopic procedures.
Have you checked out the future of obesity treatment?
Maybe you want to go to http://www.ideasforsurgery.com/2007/06/30/hybrid-laparoscopic-endoluminal-reduction-of-stomach-volume/
Comment by Kurt -
i just had a colonoscopy done yesterday and let me tell you the staff and the doctor was great. i am glad i went in i was scared but after i was in the room and it was over i was treated like i was the only one there . hats off to the dr and staff at dearborn surgery center. 7-2-07
Comment by GEORGE -
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Comment by chinatronic -
LOL Mark, the funny part is that you didn\’t even have to do an invasive colonoscopy since they offer a non-invasive colonoscopy now:
oh well, better luck next time:)
Comment by Ken Gallagher -
Thanks for the note…no telling how many people will read this and realize how important it is to get this done.
Comment by neh -
Usually the stuff you panic the most about turns out to be the easiest thing when you finally get to it. Besides, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure ^_^.
Comment by Rebeccalee Coventry -
That was a great post.
Good information and a good laugh. The point was not lost in the humor. Well done.
Comment by Sam -
That one strikes a nerve (of sorts). All men should have a colonoscopy; it makes good sense. My personal experience was the preparation was worse than the actual procedure. I took the serious laxatives & then went outside to the backyard. My daughter saw me leaning very intently against a fencepost. She thought I was praying. I wasn\’t praying, but I was concentrating very hard on controlling a certain bodily function.
Comment by JPH -
My comments on the hedgefund posting ended up in the colonoscopy section. I\’m not sure how that happened.
Anyway, Mark, thank you for this posting on the colonoscopy. I am sure it will give others the courage to do it.
Your blog is one of the best on the web because you post on meaningful subjects. Thanks again.
Comment by KindAndThoughtful -
I work for a group of Gastroenterology physicians and have watched quite a few of these procedures. From an inside perspective, its easy to say that it\’s going to be a breeze because it\’s a very routine procedure that\’s typically uneventful in our offices. But the majority of people at the recommended age for colon cancer screening are very scared of the \”hose\” and would rather not be screened.
Mark, I\’m glad that you blogged about this because it brings more awareness and unbiased information to the procedure. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Comment by brandon -
Thanks for you about this informative information,keep it up…
Comment by johnsons -
My G.P. recommended this procedure last year, simply due to my being in my geezerhood. I put it off because it was so expensive. Now, one year later the G.P. is again telling me its time. Called a clinic that specializes in digestive health and was stunned to hear the price has doubled in one year. The range is from $2400 – $4,600. Odd that sticking a tiny camera and light up my backside can be so expensive.
But, when those boat payments come due or the country club memebership is up for renewal well, they gotta due what they gotta do, I guess.
Comment by lawrence erkie -
When I got mine, I shit 45 times the day before while taking that laxative. 45 times. To make my life worse, my girlfriend at the time called me that night before when I was on my 40th shit and said, \”I don\’t think we\’re gonna work out.\” Can you believe that \”shit\”?
Comment by Ray Maniaci -
\”Today is a… digital incarnation of Oz – the Internet – we are a motley group of fools from lions to scarecrows, learning from each other, making and taking responsibility for our decisions, and having fun as we skip down the yellow brick road of investing together!\”
Comment by KindAndThoughtful -
Great to see someone talking stock market sense. It\’s my belief that the markets are delusional, based particularly on hedge funds and all the artificial refinancing going on. I defer to Jim Kunstler:
\”Every structural element in our financial sector is a jackstraw groaning under a load of false expectation. The hedge funds are only the most elaborate pieces, with their intertwined webs of exponentially unreckoned risk. The equity markets are a three-ringed circus of \”greater fools.\”
Meanwhile in South Africa where I live the stock market has steamed up to just under 30 000, and there\’s rumors of \’sell in May and go away\’ happening in early July.
My thinking is simply this: if all economic is underpinned by energy (as breathing oxygen is the given for us walking around everyday), and that energy becomes more expensive, when do the marklets reflect that? My thinking is later, rather than sooner, and too late, rather than just in time. Any thoughts?
Comment by Nick -
OK. That was funny – it\’d been a while since I was on this blog because I\’d been out of town and touch, but this is one for the memory banks. LOL!!!
I like your candor about bodily functions (which I as a lady can\’t type even in anonymity!)
You are hilarious. I\’m glad it all worked out. I\’ll be looking forward to mine… With you in mind…
As they say in South Los Angeles \”Shewt, son, you my hero!\”
Comment by b. -
well that was unexpected but great to hear. Im 36 and closing fast on that time. Still doesnt make me look forward to it in the least. Im still mistified at the urologist using his finger. That squishy feeling for the next day was god awful.
Comment by chad -
I have to agree with Mark. Apparently I had one experience of blood in the stool (hemroid) at 40, but that drive you to the colonoscopy just to be sure. They knocked me out and it was no big deal. When I awoke, I was told they found 7 polups, some quite large. No big deal. They were removed and were not cancerous, but the doctor took pains to let me know that if I had waited until I was 50 when these tests are normally done for the first time, we would have been having a different conversation.
I did have a follow up a year later, without being put to sleep. Everything was clean, but I would agree you want to be put to sleep.
Comment by Dan Monck -
I pity those poor bastids that have the \”Visit to the Mothership\” without anesthetic. I went about seven years ago and had the tube down the throat as well as up the pooper. No problems. I\’m scheduled for another visit at the beginning of July. The only part I don\’t like is the clear liquid diet and \”Flushing\” the day before. Good story!
Comment by Fred -
I took my mom in last year to get her first colonoscopy as she turned 50. Leading up to the visit, this was probably one of the scariest things she had faced, just due to the uncertainty of what would happen. She went through the whole process just fine, but I tell you the farting afterwards was the most hilarious thing I have witnessed as an adult. Her and another guy were in the room going at it back and forth, with the nurses telling them they still had more air in them. I was sitting in the corner cracking up.
Congrats on getting it done Mark. More men should be so proactive about their health.
Comment by Shawn Scott -
They had a show with the Simple Life about that the other day haha. Overall, it is healthy for you! Good luck ;D
Comment by Furious Photographers -
What were you doing talking Rugby Mark? Wasn\’t aware you were up on the sport or interested in it.
Comment by Rich Schurfeld -
Thanks Mark I think I might actually set one up at my next physical.
Comment by allan wrigh -
Mark, thanks for emphasizing this message to your readers. I\’m actually sitting in a hospital room with my father right now waiting for his colon surgery. It was just a little while back that he went in for a long overdue colonoscopy and fortunately, they discovered the tumor cells at a relatively early stage. I encourage everyone out there 50 and older to get one. If you have a family history of colon cancer (like I do), go in before that. I\’m glad to hear everything went well with yours.
Comment by Junius Ho -
Great post from you because you aren\’t posting this for anything other than passing along information. I was LMAO when I thought about how much you were paying some nurses and a doctor telling you to RIP ONE. I don\’t think my insurance would have covered that.
Comment by Jason -
greatest thing you have ever wrote i had mine done and they knocked me out and it was a breeze. the tech came to my gurney and told me they cut out a polyp.. i was concerned she wasn\’t . in any event a week later i see my doctor. and she tells me that all polyps are pre-cancerous and need to be removed . the good news is colon cancer is a very slow grower , but in 5 years the odds would be cancer and in 10 it could blow out of the colon and spread … keep spreading the word make a game out of goin \’ only good can come out of it thanks, t.v.
Comment by tigervidmar -
what a wonderfully selfless and thoughtful post. i hope many listen.
i recollect going in for a gastroscopy (tube down the throat) one day a few years ago. i was in a waiting room, in bed with several other outpatients. as i lay in bed for six hours waiting, i watched my bedmates picked off for their colonoscopies one by one. finally the nurse came for me and i asked, totally perplexed, \”excuse me, but can you reasure me somehow that the same tube your pokin\’ up their bottoms is NOT going to get shoved down my throat\”
she was laughing so hard she had to leave the room.
that wasn\’t reassuring
Comment by karoline -
Just saw the above post. Here in Maryland, the state will cover the cost of a colonoscopy for anyone over 50 (or under 50 at \”high risk\”) without insurance. This was do to the hard work of a gastroenterologist and colorectal surgeon in Baltimore. The state saves money over the long run because it\’d otherwise eat the hospital bills. (Those with cancer or any of 67 other diseases automatically qualify for a moderately priced \”high-risk\” pool, where the state backs a PPO. This is funded by a property tax that is levied on the hospitals).
Comment by Mike -
It\’s great that you had a colonoscopy. They\’re life saving tools–not only for colon cancer, but they are used to detect Crohn\’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, FAP, and Diverticulitis. Like cancer, early detection of these diseases improves the chances of treatments working, and (generally) leads to better patient outcomes.
Comment by Mike -
congrats for sharing your story, you are bound to save some lives with the information.
i am an anesthesiologist, and i work in an office sedating patients for colonoscopy. (a great job, the dispelling of air notwithstanding). most patients are tremendously apprehensive before, and incredibly shocked afterwards that it really was painless and comfortable.
my reaction to some of the comments–
the procedure is expensive. so it getting colon cancer. health insurance companies by and large cover the costs, but not always. many insurance companies are trying to not pay for sedation, saying it is unnecessary, but public outcry seems to be backing them off.
a comment mentioned a death from complications of colonoscopy. true, this rarely happens. people also die in automobile accidents, and pedestrians get killed crossing the street. as everything else in life, there are risks, that we either accept without thinking about them, or we carefully weigh the benefits vs the risks. complications such as perforation of the colon do occur, and sometimes result in death. however, complications of not doing the test include colon cancer, and death. the risk of perforation of the colon is not a good reason to not undergo the screening. just as the risk of an auto accident is not a good reason to not drive to the clinic.
the laxative you must take to prepare the colon/clean it out prior to the procedure sucks. no two ways about that. several hours of frequent trips to the toilet. we are working on it.
interesting no comments about the \’virtual colonoscopy\’. which is good. it is a technology that is not ready for prime time. in the future (who knows how many years down the line) non-invasive imaging will replace routine screening colonoscopy. but there is no substitute yet.
as for colonics, a complete and total waste of time and water. over thousands of cases, i have yet to see a single chunk of red meat stuck in a dark, isolated corner of the colon. just another myth.
finally, like katie couric\’s famous episode, i think cube\’s next exam would make great tv. in our office, we just got a new high def setup, the image quality is amazing.
Comment by howard in nyc -
Good advice. I almost had one in April of 2006, but as I ended up diagnosed with Acute Diverticulitis (http://bonj.blogspot.com/2006/04/posting-hiatus-acute-diverticulitis.html), the doctors advised against it at the time, as there are usually perforations in the intestine as a result of diverticulitis. A scope could rupture the perforation, possbily leading to Peritonitis. Not cool! After having some time to heal I went back in May 2006 for a colonscopy. I think I would have preferred taking a few pills, as I had to drink the gallon of stuff again. As far as the procedure itself, I did not remember anything about it. Kind of nice, yet kind of scary. They were able to see the acute diverticulitis in one area and the ulcerative colitis in another, but no active flair ups or problems. Per doctors orders I have basically added more fiber (3 psyllium husk fiber pills twice a day) to the diet and things have been going pretty well.
With your audience it might also be worth a post recommending a regular physical.
Comment by Bonj -
I to had a problem like Dennis but I was 34 at the time. I am going back in spring 2008 for my three year check up. I was scary myself because I have 3 little ones, And I didn\’t want to leave them without a Dad. Very bless to had caught it on, Thank you for your post.
P.S Miss you in the playoff in S.A, you made it fun. See you in 2008 I know you will see Finley.
Comment by juan g @satx -
I know I speak for a lot of men that are afraid to address this issue. Thank you for your blog here and while you didn\’t atually mention it I hope results were negative.
Comment by Matt Suhey -
Good for you Mark, can I also suggest getting periodic colonics. Something I was also skeptical about but after having done the procedure realize the benefits. Balanced Approach in Dallas is very professional and they have a very informative web site and staff.
It\’s a great idea for anyone reading this to have this procedure done since fecal matter tends to lodge in various areas of your colon and over time can cause serious problems if not dealt with. Especially those who are meat eaters…
Balanced Approach: http://www.balancedapproach.com
Live long, live strong….
Comment by Joey Love -
Thank you Mr. Cuban
Having had the same thing done to me and telling
people that it is not a big deal, most people do not trust me.
However, with someone like you talking about it, maybe it will
influence my friends to get it done.
Well done Mr. Cuban
Comment by Ronald Daignault -
nothing wrong with giving your undercarriage a little how\’s your father
Comment by art -
Good for you that you had this done, Mark.
I had my colonoscopy 18 months ago at age 51. While they didn\’t find any polyps, they did find an ulcerated area where the small and large intestines join. It was later diagnosed as Crohn\’s disease. Who knew!?! I had no symptoms at all, but now take medication to keep this chronic disease under control.
So, this test isn\’t just to screen for cancer. A number of ailments may be detected. It\’s great, painless, fairly low risk, and you gave a new meaning to the word \”breezy\” in your own description! Hope they found nothing.
Comment by Ken Goldman -
Most people do not ever realize how important it is to have it done. My uncle was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago and it was already too late. He was only 49….
Comment by Melissa -
Thank you Mr. Cuban
Having had the same thing done to me and telling people that it is not a big deal, most people do not trust me. However, with someone like you talking about it, maybe it will influence my friends to get it done
Well done Mr. Cuban
Comment by Ronald Daignault -
There\’s nothing wrong with being afraid to go through such an intimate procedure. The most important thing is that you did do it and that was smart. When my father was in his early \’60\’s he had the procedure done and it saved his life. It never hurts to be proactive when it concerns your health. Wishing you the best and a speedy recovery!!!
Regarding older post. I just came across an article that was in last month\’s Swanni Sez Column from TVPredictions.com where you mentioned that you were looking for new show ideas for HDNET. I hope I\’m not too late but I just submitted a package to VOOM HD for three channels that contain nineteen fully developed original programs. I would like to submit the proposal to HDNET as well. However, I\’m not comfortable with pitching the proposal through your blog, so I will to try to contact you and Todd Wagner through your HDNET website.
Just a little about me. My name is Howard Hobson. I did two tours of duty as a development exec. for Touchstone Pictures where I worked under David Hoberman and Donald De Line. I also served as Vice President of Director John Singleton\’s New Deal Productions, as well as producing over forty shows of PUMP IT UP!, a weekly hip-hop show, for Stephen Chao (Cops, America\’s Most Wanted) STF Productions.
Thank you for the opportunity to correspond. Again, wishing you speedy recovery!!!
Comment by Howard Hobson -
Thank you for this posting. I too have been checked and it wasn\’t as bad as I thought. Thank you for using your high profile to get the word out and hopefully make a difference.
Comment by pbzthoughts -
My sister was diagnosed with colon cancer when she was 45. This prompted me to get a colonoscopy at age 42. They found polyps which would have turned cancerous had I waited till the recommended age of 50 for getting a colonoscopy. If you have any family history of colon cancer or polyps get a colonoscopy immediately. My sister lived, by the way.
Comment by john moeller -
Hey it\’s great you got your a** checked out and all but on to basketball. SO…..What\’s your excuse this year Mr. Cuban for the Mavericks losing to a crappy team like Golden State? Wade doesn\’t play for Golden state so you can\’t use him as a scapegoat so what happened this year? Where were Dirk\’s leadership skills? Oh that\’s right HE HAS NONE!!! Isn\’t that what Wade pointed out to begin with??? HA HA HA HA!!!!! MAVERICKS SUCK AND SO DO YOU YOU BIG BABY!!
Comment by MICHELLE -
Love your colonoscopy story. It is important to share and I\’ll be doing my colonoscopy thing later this summer. Check out my blog http://www.revolutionhealth.com/blogs/cline (I\’m the cancer center manager for Revolution Health) which I\’ll be updating once I\’ve had mine. By the way – I think we attended the same high school in Pittsburgh!
Comment by Carolyn Hall -
My dad had his 50th b-day colonoscopy 10 days ago. They found a tumor which turned out to be cancer. It is early enough, though, that it hasn\’t spread and there\’s a very good chance that he\’ll be fine. I\’ve been trying to urge people to get a colonoscopy, thanks for your post. Early detection literally saves lives.
Comment by JC -
Mark, this is a great post! Not always easy to share personal experiences, especially when it\’s about digestive system stuff!
I commend you for your candid account–you have no idea how important first-hand colonscopy accounts are to those of us who are afraid. By posting this, you may save someone\’s life.
All the best,
Comment by Gastro Girl -
Thanks for the story. My doctor told me to get one last year and I have been avoiding it. I guess if you can get it done, I can too. 🙁
Everyone else, thanks for your posts. I will definately make sure I am knocked out for the \”procedure\”!
Not looking forward to this!!! Go Mavs!
Comment by Wes -
Just had a colonoscopy myself today when I read about your bloq in the newspaper. Being from Germany and a supporter of Dirk and the Mavs I guess this is a good sign. Hope you get the rings next year and keep on with meaningful posts like this.
Comment by Axel Bree -
I lost my father to colon cancer a few years back so really appreciate your spreading the word. Keep it up.
Comment by CC -
LOL! I\’ve had my colonoscopy last year. Yeah, I was knocked out the whole time they inspected my ass and guts. When I woke up, the nurse said I had to let one rip and take a piss in the bathroom to make sure I am alright before I go home.
The extra air is no fun at all though. If anyone get a colonoscopy, you better try to fart as much as you can, or you\’ll have PAINFUL stomaches from the extra air. Fart it while you\’re still under medication!
Comment by Deaf258 -
Easy and breezy? Sounds especially breezy!
Comment by Nathan Hays -
Not so fast Mark. A friend of mine just passed away as a result of a regular annual colonoscopy. The problem was they perforated her colon with the probe they stick in you. She left the hospital feet first.
Comment by BOB -
i greatly appreciate this information.
FEAR is definitely too strong a word to describe my thoughts on the procedure, but it\’s somewhere in that ballpark.
Comment by steve -
Thank you for your bravery in sharing this story. In a culture where men are supposed to be macho, maybe we need to re-think exactly what that means. Courage comes in many forms, sometimes in accepting your responsibilities as a man and the fact that the only one who can make you feel like less of a man is yourself.
Comment by Jeremy C. Garland -
I\’m going next month….love to fart….love to have bowel movements…..get out the garden hose…..yippeeeeeee
Comment by john -
I am a young brother, 37 yoa. I am going in for my colonoscopy check tommorow morning. I am just took the 4 pills you have to take and I am waiting for the big dump. I am not scared really of the surgery but rather drinking the jesus juice. I should be drinking within an hour or two! wish me luck on the surgery.
p.s. I haven\’t eaten all day either and I don\’t plan on it….
Comment by Demetrius Ford -
Mark, as a former classmate of yours at IU Business school (and Motley\’s) and thus of the same vintage, after reading your blog you have just convinced me to go this dreadful act over with.
Comment by levi -
glad you posted that, I have been to scared to do it and putting it off…..
Comment by Brian Cuban -
You were talking Rugby before you were knocked out, didn\’t think rugby was that big over in the states, hopefully come the world cup you will be supporting the All Blacks, hehehehe.
Comment by Richard -
I\’m 21 (AND AN MFFL!!!!!!!), live with my parents, and yes, am still a virgin. How is this relevant? Well, you see, I spend a lot of time in the bathroom (THE MOST RELAXING AND CATHARTIC AND INTELLECTUALLY-ORIENTED PLACE IN THE WORLD) and when your room mate is your overprotective mom (who happens to be a pediatrician; God bless her) who shares a bathroom with you, she is sure to notice EVERYTHING.
My mom thought I had GI issues because her brother has ulcerative colitis or something (some GI disorder, I think). So she made me give her a stool sample (WHICH IS THE NASTIEST EXPERIENCE I\’VE EVER FACED IN MY LIFE. FISHING FOR STOOL: YUCK!!!!). And then she tried to get me to lie to a GI specialist that I was having diarrhea 3 to 4 times a day for the last 4 months (NONE OF WHICH IS TRUE, MIND YOU!!!) so that I would be guaranteed a doctor-prescribed colonoscopy.
So in the end, I got a 1 gallon container with white powder (super laxative, I believe). I WAS TO GET A COLONOSCOPY. Ofcourse, I wasn\’t willing, nor secure enough, to have something shoved up my ass, so I REFUSED to go, on grounds of COMPLETELY NORMAL GI STATUS.
WHAT A RIDE!!!! JUST LIKE THE MAVS SEASON. EXCEPT MINES HAD A HAPPY ENDING!!!!!
Comment by Mohammad -
Last year I had a colonoscopy. I was knocked out. A polyp was found and removed with a souvenir photo. Unfortunately, the exam was not complete because my body reacted to some pain(I personally was not aware of anything.) and my pulse rate dropped to 34 beats/minute from 72+ per minute. The procedure was not complete and later I had to have a barium xray with barium pumped up my rear while xrays were taken. I was awake during this procedure. It wasn\’t too bad. The most discomfort was the plastic tip which was inserted.
Comment by david -
I had my colonoscopy done about ten years ago (with no sedative given) but things are obviously changing (at least for some)for the better in that department. 😉 Anyway, thanks for your post; it is good to hear a report like that from the \”horse\’s mouth\” – it should encourage people who are still hesitating… And it is good to see that some issues people face are still the same despite your position in life. Keep the good work going! Kind regards from the UK.
Comment by Magdalena -
This is very informative. When I do get one, I\’ll ask to get knocked out as well. You probably need to have good insurance to cover it, or pay out of pocket for this \”luxury\”.
Comment by rain74 -
Looking at the comments above on prostate cancer, I\’m 49 and have been having regular annual checkups for years that included the digital rectal exam and blood screening (I\’m pretty sure it\’s always included PSA tests), and I\’ve always checked out OK. Then I have a colonoscopy and bam, the colonoscopy doctor says I have a nodule on my prostate, and now I\’m sure I\’m going to be told I need to have a biopsy. I feel like I\’ve been blindsided – I went in for a test for colon cancer and came back with a diagnosis of possible prostate cancer. I guess I\’m still working through a lot of this, I\’m feeling anxiety, fear, anger, frustration that I\’m going to have to have yet another invasive procedure done … etc. Probably all normal I guess. Just not looking forward to having to have a biopsy and then having to face the possible results of that. Apparently for prostate cancer to be detected at the digital rectal exam stage it\’s already gone beyond the beginning stages, so if that\’s what it is… I\’ve already got all the doomsday scenarios playing in my mind!
Comment by Jay -
The best thing about my colonoscopy was proof to my wife that my head was not up there.
Comment by Billy -
Thanks for the tip. My dad even said the same thing. This will definitely save lives as post #3 stated.
Comment by Norm -
I wasn\’t knocked out either. I think it was because I told the Doctor that,\”I had a very high pain tolerance\” So IMO they gave me as little pain meds as possible. So I was awake for the first 5 mins or so. It feels like an intense gas pain. You know when you have been sitting down for a long time and you can\’t fart to relieve the gas, that is what it feels like. In fact that is the exact pain I think as the camera is expanding your colon and not gas.
So I got to watch the video for a while and I groaned a bit from the pain. It wasn\’t too bad of pain. Then I asked the Doctor about how much longer it would be. I guess at that time they gave me a bit more meds as the next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery room.
Comment by Byron -
Yeah it must be nice to be rich enough to have the doctors knock you out for this procedure. Anyone not rich enough is not given general anesthesia. They are probably going to be given something like Versed which is just a local anesthetic. Get a clue Mark.
Comment by Ben -
Mark, as hard as it is for a San Antonio Spurs fan to admit, you are a helluva man. Your colonoscopy alert is just what the doctor ordered.
Now, perhaps you will do a similar service for men by dealing with the \”other\” bugaboo, the prostate cancer screening, the MOST often diagnosed non-skin cancer in the US (colorectal cancer ranks 3rd among both men and women: 79,130 (10%) men, 74,630 (11%) women) vs. 218,890 prostate cases (29% of ALL cancers, men and women combined).
Judging by the comments regarding prostate cancer here, there is about the typical misinformation out there that men need corrected:
\”26. If you\’ve conquered this fear of the camera, then prepare yourself for the prostate biopsy, that is suggested even if you don\’t have to go, but which your insurer will cover.\”
Prostate cancer screening is NOT a biopsy. That MAY come after the screening, which is a blood draw for a PSA test to measure the amount of Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood, AND the dreaded Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), which any man who has been in the military has experienced without loss of manhood.
\”30. Wow, you have me investigating prostate vs. colon cancer screening. Just yesterday I had a routine physical exam. Had a chat about prostate cancer screening with my doc, he said he no longer recommends prostate screening as the results are often false, and there is no clear benefit to life expectance since prostate cancer is very slow progessing. Never talked about colon screening. Here is an article about colon vs. prostate screen… botton line colon screen is good, prostate screen is very controversial. But the tests are similar.
Mark, next time I will come to you with my medical questions.
Posted at 4:15PM on Jun 14th 2007 by Joe Palmer\”
The PSA \”controversy\” that has led even doctors to abandon the MOST EFFECTIVE screening test for cancer borders on criminal. The PSA test was NEVER meant to be a diagnostic certainty; it is a SCREENING tool, a flag for further testing to determine why the amount is elevated, with a particular eye toward prostate cancer. When it was first introduced, it \”harvested\” latent prostate cancer among men and became viewed by lazy doctors as conclusive for prostate cancer if it was elevated. Before the PSA screening test, 75% of men diagnosed were caught because they had symptoms and the cancer was advanced. Since the PSA screening test 75%+ of men who are diagnosed are early and localized prostate cancer cases, treated for cure. The survival rate at 5 years is 100% for men with \”local or regional\” cancer, 33.3% if it has advanced to \”distant.\” (Colorectal is 90.4% for local, 68.1% for regional, 9.8% for distant.)
There are many \”non-invasive\” test in the diagnosis of prostate cancer even before biopsy \”cores\” are extracted from the prostate with a needle. And even the biopsy is far more uncomfortable than painful, about flicking you with their finger on the arm, only \”down there.\”
Here\’s a sobering statistic for you: a couple studies found that of men screened for prostate cancer about 80% were screened because some women in their life insisted, not because they took it on themselves. Men simply are not health proactive as a general rule. My hat\’s off to you, Mark, for hammering the proactive home!
BTW, as a prostate cancer survivor (13 years from diagnosis September 1994) 2 crucial points on when to be screened:
1. Start at 40. Some say 45, other say 50. Survivors say 40 — and even then I have known men in their 30s (with family history) that were killed by prostate cancer.
2. ALWAYS demand to know what your PSA result is. And insist on followup if over 2.0 ng/ml. Some varieties of prostate cancer don\’t express much PSA and they are usually the more aggressive verities, and also most often found in younger men. It is the upward movement of the PSA that is the most critical early warning. And 25% of men diagnosed are under age 65 so it definitely is NOT \”the old man\’s\” disease.
As with ALL cancers, early detection is the best protection.
Hope to see you in San Antonio for the Finals next year.
Comment by Rick Ward -
I just had my first one done. While it was also a breeze (I had \”twilight sleep\” and evidently was alert enough to talk to the staff, who told me I asked whether Hillary Clinton was president yet while I was under sedation), they did find a nodule on my prostate (I\’m only 49!). So now I have to go in to a urologist and probably have a needle biopsy – another procedure that probably is more uncomfortable, and now I\’m all freaked out that I may have prostate cancer, which isn\’t even something that was on my radar screen when I went for the colonoscopy. Life throws weird pitches at you sometimes!
Comment by Jay -
I had my colonoscopy done in 2005 & didn\’t like the part of taking laxatives which resulted 5-6 trips to the bathroom but the benefit of having your colon check definitely outweigh the inconvenience. Like Mark said \”there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Its truly easy and breezy. Do it.\”
Comment by Michael -
Good for you, Mr. Cuban. I\’m over 40, and I had my first prostate exam this year. George Foreman is right: real men get it checked. Having a fear of doctors and hospitals is understandable, but conquering that fear is cool, and that\’s what makes you a real man. Given how busy you are, I\’m amazed you can find the time to take care of yourself; I have a regular 9-5 job and sometimes it\’s hard for me to even get to the gym somedays. But, in the end, we\’re all better off for taking care of ourselves, and it\’s great that high-profile people like you remind us of that every now and then.
Comment by Dan -
Thank you so much for bringing attention to the fact that it is important to have a regular colonoscopy. I wish people would start getting them eariler than age 50 because it just seems to me that people younger and younger are getting colon cancer, and it is curable if it is caught early enough. The reason I say this is because my fiance was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 32, and was considered a healthy young man up until then. He died a year later. I\’m only 23 but I\’m going to have my first one when I get around age 30.
Comment by Adrienne -
Good for you. I think it is great when people bring this up. To many men die from a disease that is treatable for men when caught in time. We run a charity event every year in San Diego for the same reason–to make people more aware of an important issue. Would love it if we did the same thing here.
Comment by scott -
For those of you who think you\’re too young to get cancer, think again. My dear wife was diagnosed with cancer, stage 4 melanoma, and the age of 28, ten days before our twins were born. She lost her three year struggle with cancer on October 16th, 2006, leaving behind our son, and twin girls.
Early detection is the key for any cancer. The more people that ppromote early detection, the better. I\’d do anything to have my wife back.
Comment by Paul Cyopick -
Cruel.com has elected to share your \”unspeakable penetration\” with a larger audience. Tee hee. Anyway… It\’s probable that the air they asked you expel was being blown in by them, in order to expand the various parts of your colon for easier viewing. Did they give you a copy of the tape? Always fun at parties. Given the \”clearing/cleansing\” regimen they make you do beforehand–the only really annoying part of the procedure, that one does at home–really leaves nothing in you to generate \”natural\” gas. They also should have given you some fun drugs, like Versed and/or Valium, so that you wouldn\’t really be able to recall enough to blog about it, but nice job.
Comment by Phil -
Great post today Mark. My wife and I are going through the \’too late\’ portion of this that you mentioned. I\’m glad that you had the guts to post this.
Comment by Scott Schnaars -
I got a great quote from my doctor after mine.
\”Clean as a whistle. You could eat off your colon\”
Comment by Grantosa -
I had a colonoscopy in a hospital as a teenager after I suffered from severe cramps, and that was no breeze at all. I can vividly remeber that both the preparation and the procedure itself were very uncomfortable and downright painful due to the air pressure used to inflate the colon. Yet this year (I am 29 now) I decided to have another one because my father had died from colon cancer when he was 39 and I had experienced some pain in this region and irregularities in my digestion during the last few months. Like Mark I was also quite nervous before the procedure, but this time it was no problem at all. Sure there are nicer things to do but the experience was just like he described it, way better than my first one or the nausea I felt for hours after a surgery a few years ago. When you wake up you fell so fresh that you don\’t realize you were asleep. I was amazed when I asked \”can we start now?\” and the nurse told me that its already over. After a few minutes I walked out of my internists office and returned home by public transport myself. Medicine has made huge advances in that diagnostic arena. And thankfully everything turned out fine, at least regarding colon cancer I will have peace of mind for the next 5 to 10 years of my life.
Comment by Harald -
Mr.Cuban,I dont think your gonna read this but in the society that I live in,its just amazing how much attention is put on the status of celebrities but not enough on the poverty,children with guns killing each other,and the people starving in our streets along with people of America struggling to even put gas in there cars.If money was no object for me I would love to save as many lives as i can but i realize thats hard,figuring im a struggling college student myself.but i do admire you using your power for the good instead of the evil as many celebrities do.I wish i could tell America my story about how ive seen my best friends die,kids on the street with no food,and single mothers struggling to food in there children\’s stomach.Its sad how much everybody is watching paris hilton in jail,but im looking at another soul taken away but unnecessary violence.I dont really get a chance to go to basketball games but I always watch and Dallas has a really good team.thank you ,andre
Comment by Andre Blackmon -
One of my best friends just found out she has colon cancer. She is 35. I suggest to ANYONE if you are having problems, demand a colonoscopy from your DR. If he or she will not refer you to have one, find another doctor. It will save your life. Melanie
Comment by Melanie -
Mark, Thanks for the \”input\”, and the humor. I will be going through the same procedure in the near future and I was concerned as well, to say the least.\’
Lets follow up regarding our past discussions. Hope to hear back from you soon. E.J.
Comment by E.J. Ridings -
I\’ve been reading you for a while and following your career, team, businesses, etc. You
always provide an interesting point of view and often some very valuable advice.
This is one of your great posts. Like a real guy, you tell other guys that it is ok to
take care of yourself and you admit you have fears like the rest of us. Colon
cancer is a REAL problem and you have motivated the guy to take action
Thanks for all of your insights, commentary, opinions and advice!
Comment by Ivy Lane -
Mark – Thanks for posting this. FYI – Even though the suggested age to get one of these is 50 unless you have family history or symptoms, Katie Couric\’s husband died of this in his early 40s – and had no family history. Early testing is key.
Comment by Matt Burrows -
Brave post. Thanks so much for taking the risk of being ridiculed to share that.
Comment by Shonenfan -
Welcome to the club. I had my first one a year ago. I had all the same concerns that you did. The thing that got me over it was family history and the fact that my Father had a Colostomy because he never had a colonoscopy even with family history. For any of the readers that don\’t know what a Colostomy is look at:
So any readers that think a colonoscopy is bad, read about the alternative. To say nothing of the Chemo.
For the people that weren\’t offered a sedative all you need to do is ask next time. If they say no then go to someone else. As I mentioned this procedure is far better then the alternative when you waited too long.
Comment by Robert R Richardson Jr. -
As a 47 year old I take this prostate stuff quite serious since the passing of Johnny Ramone who was only 54.
Comment by iConjohn -
Informative, but yet disturbing.
Comment by Steven -
How about a rip-off advert: \”Colonoscopy ? Just do it !\”
Comment by Leszczur -
Great topic. This is the kind of thing that could save a life if only one stubborn dude wakes up and decides to take care of his body.
Comment by Ed Kohler -
Had the same concerns after getting a sigmoidoscopy, which is probably what commenter #1 had, a less thorough procedure without sedation. The full colonoscopy was indeed a breeze and there\’s no need to be worried. So, guys go and get it done.
Comment by JEB -
I\’ve had 4 over the last 10 years or so, and I think it really depends on the doctor as to whether or not you are awake. I was knocked out when at hospitals when covered by my own insurance and was awake when in a military hospital or the VA. I was never afraid until my most recent one, and I think it has more to do with the reason than the actual procedure. I\’ve had Crohn\’s disease for 10 years and this most recent one was the start of many more to come checking for cancer. I think that is where the fear comes from, the possibility of cancer.
All in all, Mark, be glad they knocked you out. Being awake is never pleasant.
Comment by Darrel -
Great post Mark, and aptly phrased. My father died of colo-rectal cancer 3 days after his 68th birthday because he ignored the minor early symptoms. His elder brother lasted into his 80s because he used to get properly screened.
Thanks to the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals, I have no memory of the 7 \’roto-rooter\’ procedures I have undergone so far in my life.
It\’s ghastly, needless, and stupid way to die. You don\’t even have to bite a bullet; be a man and get scoped! (You can always revisit your childhood games – \”You filthy gestapo b*stards! I\’ll tell you NOTHING!\”)
One caveat. Do shop around – the NEJM had a very interesting piece on the widely varying quality of care in this arena ( http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/355/24/2588 )
Comment by Rowan Manahan -
No one mentions money I guess there\’re all loaded. I have a 2700.00 deductible. How much do these things cost?
Comment by Steve Johnston -
You\’re exactly right. I\’m only 26, but I had some health issues that required me to do this also. I was scared to death about it and totally embarrassed to talk about it with anyone, even tho the underlying problems were petrifying and I really needed someone to talk to. Having been through it now, it was totally no big deal; the prep stuff is much worse than the actual procedure. Luckily, I don\’t have any major problems, but it was definitely worth it to find that out for sure.
Thanks for putting out the word; maybe you\’ll extend a life or two in the process.
Comment by Scott -
Best public service announcement ever 😛
Comment by Ash Haque -
Sharing your story and emphasizing the importance of having an annual colonoscopy probably convinced a lot of people to go get a check-up. If only my father knew how to work one of these computer-thingies. Perhaps you could give him a ring? He knows how to use the telephone.
Comment by Leonard -
I\’d had a couple of colonoscopies before, and thought it was no big deal. In fact, I kinda enjoyed seeing the pictures on the monitor.
In 1994, though, I went to Doctors North hospital in Columbus Ohio, and it was different. I was knocked out during the procedure. When I awoke, my wife took me home, and on the way, there was one of those April thundershowers, the kind with the huge raindrops that really go splat. I\’d always enjoyed that kind of storm before, but this time it terrified me; I wanted to climb under the front seat.
I later found out that the osteopath – name withheld for fear of lawsuit – had given me an extra big dose of sedative, and started the colonoscopy just 5 minutes later. The manufacturer recommends giving 1/10 the dose I got, and waiting 45 minutes for it to take hold. I guess that\’s one way for a doctor to maximize his revenue – but it appears from the procedure notes that I died on the table, and they administered an antagonist to me. One of the side effects of that antagonist being neurological damage. Problems first showed during that thunderstorm, and are still quite apparent, 13 years later.
I\’d been reluctant to have the procedure repeated, but my family physician was pretty insistant. Finally, I went to the specialist, and told him that I would sign a modified consent, that said the procedure was to be done without putting me to sleep, and that I could stop the procedure at any time. He finally agreed – and it went fine.
If you prep as you are supposed to, and the doctor is competent, the biggest discomfort is trying to swallow all that GoLightly. If your doctor wants to put you out, run, don\’t walk, to the nearest exit, and find another doctor.
Yeah, it\’s a little embarassing, being sodomized by a long black tube with a camera on the end – but it\’s lubed up well, and you quickly forget about that. And the show is better than anything you\’ll find on the Discovery channel. I have NO reservations about getting regular colonoscopies now – as long as I remain awake and alert.
Comment by Paul Ding -
It\’s extremely comforting to know other men are comfortable talking about other men sticking long and uncomfortable things into their most uncomforting of areas.
Comment by Brock Landers -
I\’ve had 2 because of family history. Yes they are a breeze, but confess, the prep is not great. There is a reason you are 4 pounds lighter.
Comment by Harold -
To tell the truth, I was a little surprised by the title, even more surprised when I started to read, and realized that it is actually about colonoscopy! I think it takes guts just to get tested (especially when you don\’t really need it, it is just a precaution),but it takes more guts to write about it on your blog, giving the fact that you are a public person. Good job, hopefully more people will take notice of your example.
Comment by Ira -
Mark, thanks for your post on a subject dear to my heart. Just over six years ago we lost my father to colon cancer at the far too young age of 54. If he\’d had a colonoscopy at age 50 he\’d probably still be with us enjoying being a grandparent and coaching high school basketball like he had for the previous 30+ years. The procedure is a little inconvenient, but it\’s a small price to pay and I can\’t recommend it enough to people that are in the suggested age ranges for screening.
Comment by Jason Gilman -
I don\’t like entries into exit lanes and its scary as shit that they could find something.
Seriously, nice post, Mark. Have a cushion.
Comment by Wayne Frazer -
Sounds right up my alley. 🙂
Comment by matt kohn -
Wow, I feel like I know you MUCH better – in a weird way.
I must say I am jealous though, because I would love to have my doctor and nurses force me to continue farting. WHAT A THRILL!
Comment by Mark B -
If someone posts the video on YouTube, will you claim your colon is copyrighted?
Or do you have to air it on HD Net first? Top ten shows I don\’t want to see in high definition 😉
Comment by Josh Bernoff -
Wow, you have me investigating prostate vs. colon cancer screening. Just yesterday I had a routine physical exam. Had a chat about prostate cancer screening with my doc, he said he no longer recommends prostate screening as the results are often false, and there is no clear benefit to life expectance since prostate cancer is very slow progessing. Never talked about colon screening. Here is an article about colon vs. prostate screen… botton line colon screen is good, prostate screen is very controversial. But the tests are similar.
Mark, next time I will come to you with my medical questions.
Comment by Joe Palmer -
I had one a few years ago and I found the whole thing fascinating. I wasn\’t knocked out, I was given some kind of local anesthetic. Since I was awake I got to watch everything on TV. Didn\’t really feel any discomfort.
Could be a good idea for HDNet, a journey through the colon in high def 😉
Comment by Mike -
so, as i always suspected, you aren\’t that full of shit after all!
congrats Mark, you\’ve done more to open more eyes in one blog than many in the medical profession have tried in 2 years!
Comment by michael brooke -
This could be one of the best posts that you have written. I don\’t know if you will ever be fully aware of the impact and the potential to save lives…thanks for writing this.
Comment by Brian -
If you\’ve conquered this fear of the camera, then prepare yourself for the prostate biopsy, that is suggested even if you don\’t have to go, but which your insurer will cover.
Comment by Thomason -
Everyone should get regular medical checkups.
I\’m 36 and found out the hard way, I had a heart attack a coupld of months ago (and no, I\’m not obese)
Sometimes it\’s genetic, so even if you feel fine, it\’s always better to play it safe.
Comment by Ed -
good luck mark. hope everything works out. god bless.
Comment by blyx -
OK, I\’m calling Bullshit. It\’s not easy and breezy. The junk I had to drink tasted like crap. I had to drink a gallon of it, literally. It\’s humilating laying there with your pimply hairy butt exposed while they shove a tube up there.
DO IT ANYWAY. Somethings in life are not fun, but can be good for you.
Comment by Mark Van Patten -
I\’m 37 and got one of these exams because of the insight of a doctor I saw. Good thing I did, because they removed a sizable (but benign) polyp which is the kind that could possibly get cancerous in a few years. Now I\’m set for this exam each 3 years.
So, yes, like he said, do it.
Comment by Jerome Paradis -
Great post Mark! I\’ve been putting the same thing off. You really just eased me.
Comment by Ken-Yon -
I\’ve had 3 over the last 7 years. The most recent as it happens was this week. Nothing this time as opposed to the previous 2. After the first one, they are no big deal, albeit a day or two of schedule disruption. Will be back in 3 years. The pictures are interesting as \”souvenirs\” of the experience. Everyone should follow the guidelines for colonoscopies since colon cancer is a nasty, and often lethal disorder.
Comment by Steve1907 -
Interesting. I had to have one done at 19 (10 yrs ago) because of some digestive problems, and not only was I NOT knocked out, but I got to watch the whole thing on the TV screen as the doctor was doing it. It wasn\’t too bad by any means, but when the doctor \”turned the corner\” it wasn\’t the best feeling in the world. This was verified by the blood we saw on the way out from the tearing.
Even so, it wasn\’t anything at all to be afraid of. And it gives a funny-yet-disgusting story. =)
Comment by John -
I can\’t be the only one grateful you didn\’t pull a \”Katie Couric\” and broadcast it in HD
Comment by Debi -
and to think I always was of the opinion that Mr. Cuban was full of sh** 🙂
Comment by Joe -
Mark that\’s awesome. Thank you very much for sharing. I am glad that there is not need to be afraid. I need to get one of these done.
Comment by Brandon Tyler -
Did mine about 6 months ago wand had a similar experience. I especially enjoyed the squeaky clean feeling that followed the next few days. So did your doctor give you the 8 by 10 glossies? 😉
Comment by Tim -
We know you liked it Mark… 😉
Comment by Rahul Sood -
Thanks for posting this article
Comment by Adam -
Given your propensity to discuss \”Gootube,\” Mark, I was a little nervous when I saw \”My Colonoscopy\” under Blog Maverick in my RSS reader. Great post, and thank you for not including a video 😉
Comment by Dewey -
Outstanding. Getting to that age myself, I\’d considered this myself – your post eases my mind. Thanks so much for sharing this personal experience.
Comment by Chris -
Nice post Mark. I am pretty young but now I know i can handle it when my doc suggests it.
Comment by Russ -
Thanks Mark… great post!
Comment by Joe -
I had the same type of thing when I had to have a lumbar puncture, which is a nice name for a spinal tap.
I was more nervous about this than anything I had ever done. When I went in they took my blood pressure and it was higher than it had ever been.
They laid me down on a table and started by numbing the skin (the tiny prick of this needle was the worst of it, and I barely felt it). The only bad thing was that after they tap the spinal fluid, they lean the table so you are almost standing up right. I didn\’t pay attention when they were telling me this, so I didn\’t have my feet on the kickboard. As the table began to lean I held on to the top with my hands. It was a bit of a pain because if you moved, the needle would hit a nerve and muscles would twitch.
After it was done, I had to lay flat for a few hours, and they had me hooked to a blood pressure machine. Every reading was lower than the previous, down to a reading lower than my normal blood pressure.
The moral of the story is that no matter how bad something sounds, and how bad your mind makes it out to be, it probably isn\’t so bad. Making sure you are in good health (something us guys don\’t seem to put at the top of the list) is more important than an hour or two of discomfort.
Thanks for sharing your story Mark.
Comment by Grant -
That\’s the best public service announcement I think I\’ve ever read.
Comment by William Beem -
Like commenter #2 above, Mr. emh, I too had one done a few years ago by a doctor who didn\’t knock me out. In fact, he didn\’t even give me any sort of sedative! What a miserable experience. As a result, they weren\’t able to probe as deeply as they wanted. I soon discovered other doctors offer an anesthetic.
Mark, I really appreciate you making this post today. It reminded me that I need to get back in for a follow-up myself.
Comment by Joe Wikert -
I am significantly younger than the age recommended for a colonoscopy, but i appreciate your words here. You may have just saved a few lives just by posting this.
Comment by superdave -
Wow — both hilarious and informative. Thanks for that.
Comment by Tim Murtaugh -
Okay, I\’m pissed. Why is it they knocked you out, but my doctor wouldn\’t knock me out? I had to remain conscious for the whole [expletive deleted] examination! And I gotta tell ya, it\’s no picnic!!!
Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!
Comment by emh -
Comments are closed.