Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cleansing from the inside...

I've been off the grid for the last couple of days. Busy cleansing from the inside out. And it's NOT a pretty sight. Not by anyone's definition. Not even those middle school boys who have warped senses of humor.

Let's just be clear, shall we? My father got colon cancer at the age of 53. He survived it--giving us 13 more years with him, for which we've always been grateful. But this also means that colon cancer is a living possibility for me. Hence today I had my third torturecolonoscopy.  For those of you who have not yet experienced this extraordinary medical procedure, let me assure you--it's everything it's cracked up to be. Ouch, was that a bit crude? Sorry. Seriously, it's an important diagnostic tool, as my doctor told me this morning while I was already lying on the table. I'm not sure why he thought I needed to be convinced at precisely that moment since I had clearly already taken the plunge to have the test, but he made a good case. 80-90% of colon cancer can be prevented, cured, etc by early detection, ala colonoscopy.

So there I was. On that table. Happily on the table, I should say. Telling them loudly that I wanted to be as deeply asleep as possible.  Because I'm telling you if there's one thing I don't want to be awake for, it's a test where someone puts a camera up my colon.  Seriously. After I'd had my first one, I remember hearing that Katie Couric was going to have a colonoscopy done LIVE on camera. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Now I'm all for raising awareness of colon cancer. I mean, Dad and all...but LIVE? ON TV? REALLY?  I not only don't want the world to see, I don't even want to see for myself. Or feel it, or know any part of it! THE end.

But I have to say that getting to the table is one long arduous trip. Raise your hand if you've drunk this Koolaid!  Only it's not Kool-aid, it's Gatorade with some nasty stuff in it. Stuff that does really, really nasty stuff to one's digestive system.  Hence the word--cleanse. I should say blasted cleanse, as in don't even THINK of leaving the house for a single moment for the day before this blasted test.

That's the kind of day I had yesterday. And let me tell you, it was lovely. O, so lovely.  As I told my middle sister yesterday when I texted her, every time I go through this, I think, "Thanks, Dad." And the only good thing about it is knowing I won't have to go through it again for five years.

Except this morning the lovely doctor told me after the lovely test that all my lovely cleansing hadn't quite done the job. Even though I was completely compliant, did everything to the letter of the instructions, somehow it hadn't worked completely. So, even though everything looked fine (not a polyp in sight), he thinks I should have another colonoscopy done in three years with "more aggressive cleansing" next time.

MORE AGGRESSIVE CLEANSING? What on earth is that? Am I going to have to drink Drano or something? Do a five day fast? I tell you, it wears me out (not to mention my poor colon), just thinking about it.

I was thinking this afternoon as I was lying on the couch in a post-drug-induced haze that we do a whole lot of things to our bodies in this century to keep ourselves alive that people in most of the ages left to God. You know? When I think about my life, I know that my tonsils would have killed me by the time I was five if I'd lived in another age. And though I can't count the car accident at seven (because...after all, only in this age, right?), if I'd been run over by a wagon and so injured, I might not have survived that. And certainly my appendix bursting at twelve would have killed me. And if I had managed to survive those things, I'd have died trying to give birth to my first child...and she'd had died with me. I know this. In another age, death could have come in any of these times. And who knows how many more small illnesses would have become larger ones without penicillin.

So I'm always aware that I live in this time because God intended this. I'm always glad He gave me this life in this time. Of course. This is the life I have. And I believe it's right and good to take care of this life He gave me, by all the means He's given. However, I believe in balance. In a true and steady balance between medicine and faith. I believe in God's sovereignty even in such things as my colon health. I really do. When He wants to take me home, He will take me. That's the truth. And no test or early detection will matter then.
Cleanse what we will, He's still in charge.

I started laughing when I thought of that today. I did all that stinkin' work yesterday. Drank that yucky Gatorade (sorry, I just can't stand that drink, especially that much with that gunk in it), and STILL it didn't do the trick. That's just how it goes sometimes. God is still in charge. We do everything we can, do everything to the letter, and STILL it isn't enough. Because...God's in charge. Of my living and dying and everything else between.

PS. Seriously, though, it is a really good idea to get a colonoscopy if you're over 50 or have a family history of colon cancer.


E said...

Instead you should think, I don't have to do this for three whole Years. That's kind of a long time.

jeskmom said...

I suppose...Thanks for the silver lining. I think it's the "More aggressive" I was focusing on.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Maybe in three years they will have a more tasty way of cleansing...or better equipment that doesn't require so much thoroughness...my husband had the same thing happen to him. He's not very anxious to do it again either...SO let us pray they come up with a better "solution"...literally! Thanks for the admonition.