public service announcement

Just before I’d turned 40, my doctor sent me off to get a colonoscopy for one reason or another. Colonoscopies have many unpleasant aspects but those aren’t what this post is about.

While they were rooting thru there, they found 7 or so polyps, one of which was precancerous. They removed them. Precancerous means that it’s a good thing that it’s gone because if it had stayed, it would have become cancerous and killed me.

“Whew” we thought. “We dodged a bullet.”

Since they found stuff in there, I had to drag my sorry ass (pun intended) back for inspection every 5 years. They kept finding and removing more polyps. One or two more of them were precancerous.

This wasn’t too worrying for us because I wasn’t getting cancer. I was jumping the gun on it.

A few years later, a friend of mine went in for a colonoscopy because he’d turned 50 and colonoscopies are one of the joys of turning 50. They found lots and lots of cancer. He died within a year.

Of course, if he’d gone in 10 years earlier they’d have found this when it was just an inconvenient precancerous polyp.

Until my friend died, the colonoscopies had been an academic prevention thing like quitting smoking. Now it became a more personal “holy shit! I coulda died!” thing.


BTW, if you’re related to me, you might wanna get a colonoscopy.

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