No one wants to talk about things that are uncomfortable. The longer I’ve lived with diabetes, the less uncomfortable I’ve gotten with needles, blood and super “personal” questions. (Just to be clear, I’m still not comfortable with needles… I doubt I will ever be.) I blog about living with diabetes a lot, but I don’t blog about my colon
very much ever. Which is surprising because I’ve been living with the knowledge that I’m at risk for colon cancer longer than I’ve been living with diabetes. To some extent everyone is, but my father was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at age 46.
Dad was considered being an average-risk individual, so his first colonoscopy wasn’t recommended until he turned 50. As you might know, 50 was the last birthday he celebrated with us. A routine health screening at his second job set off a series of events that lead to his diagnosis and ensuring fight with cancer. Stage 4 is advanced and the estimated timeline from the doctors put his cancer as undiagnosed for potentially as long as a decade.
I have an annual physical with my newish doctor scheduled for the same week that I turn 25 (this week, if you’re keeping track) and I already have a list of things to talk with him about, topping the list happens to be the uncomfortable topic of my colon and how my dad’s health affects my timeline for preventative screenings.
March happens to be Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Good timing?
We often put off things that make us uncomfortable. Let’s face it, being uncomfortable adds up to no fun. But I’d rather have the uncomfortable conversations and the uncomfortable tests… I’d rather the people I love do too and than catch a serious problem too late.
The Cleveland Clinic has a page on colon cancer here.
While we’re talking medical stuff, I had a student contact me and ask for me to share her survey regarding diabetes and future pregnancy. So if you’re a lady with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, who has never been pregnant, could you take a few minutes and help her out? Here’s a link to her survey.
Rachel, thank you so much for this post.
One of the greatest gifts of blogging (I think) is learning more about health. I don’t have much knowledge about colon cancer. My only personal experience to colon health is walking through a colon replica at a mall (a touring colon to raise awareness about colon screening) and going for one colonoscopy for my unexplained stomach issues.
I’ll write a blog about my own colon experiences and link to your blog. Any support I can provide, let me know.
Looking forward to your future posts, which I’m sure are not easy to write.
Pingback: I’ve walked through a colon. Seriously. Colon Cancer Awareness Month | t1dactiveliving