If a colonoscopy is the ticket to being grown up, then I punched that ticket about seven years ago. Thanks to my own history of ulcerative colitis and a brush with cervical cancer, combined with the death of my maternal grandmother from colon cancer, I had my first colonoscopy well before the recommended age of fifty, and I am getting ready for a repeat performance early tomorrow morning. So, the best thing that I can do for myself and for the people in my life who depend on me and love me is to take good care of my physical health today and every day, for that matter.
Trust me, if you have ever had a colonoscopy, then you know that the preparation is worse than the actual procedure itself and that the entire process is less than glamorous. That said, if you have ever been through this particular procedure, you know that it is more than worth the temporary unpleasantness and embarrassment. Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the US. With early detection and treatment, survival rates are over 90%, so, undergoing a colonoscopy can mean the difference between life and death.
When I was nine years old, my grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer in March and died three months later. The image of this beloved, beautiful, and vibrant woman lying in her casket looking like a shell of her former self is an image that has haunted me my entire life, and it also impressed upon me the importance of taking good care of myself and seeking out medical treatment when needed. If my grandmother had followed this advice when she first had symptoms, perhaps, she would have survived. Unfortunately, I cannot do anything to bring her back, but I can take preventative measures to increase my odds of living a long and healthy life and to set a good example for my two daughters to value their health and well-being.
So, today, as I pretend that my clear liquid diet and cleanse are part of some spa treatment touted in a celebrity magazine and get ready for a drug-induced slumber to start my day, I hope that this will encourage you to take at least one healthy measure for yourself and for your own loved ones. You are worth it, and your life could depend on it.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day