Snapshots: Tara's Colonoscopy
In our latest blog series called Snapshots, we turn to Maine Cancer Foundation constituents - from staff, board members and other volunteers, donors, grant recipients and beyond - to share important moments in their lives related to cancer. Our series will paint a broad stroke of the cancer landscape in the state, while narrowing the focus into the rare and intimate moments that bring us all together.
Our first Snapshots is three diary entries from Maine Cancer Foundation's Executive Director, Tara Hill, as she muses on the prep and process of her colonoscopy. Tara's father was diagnosed with colon cancer at 60 and passed away from the disease at 61. He never had a colonoscopy because he didn't know he needed one. Her immediate family history recommends a colonoscopy every 5 years starting at 40. In February, at the age of 50, Tara prepped for and underwent her third colonoscopy.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Went to the drug store today to get the medicine for my colonoscopy prep. Can 5 years have gone by so quickly? At least I know what to expect since this is my third time and the doctor said the prep has gotten much better. I know that prevents a lot of people from doing this, but with my family history, I can put up with some inconvenience to avoid cancer. The process begins tomorrow...
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Came home early from work today so I could start the prep. Stopped all but clear liquids at 11:00 am and took two Dulcolax tablets at 1:00 pm. Mixed my 64 oz bottle of Gatorade with a bottle of Miralax. This is the part I am least looking forward to but actually, it’s not that bad. I only had to drink half today and I had 90 minutes. Surprisingly easy! I wouldn’t mind a bite to eat, but I stay distracted with some TV binge watching.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Woke up late – no work today! Took two more Dulcolax, drank the other half of the Gatorade/Miralax mix, and things finally started moving. But I have to say again, this is a much gentler, more friendly prep than I remember, and I’m ready to go to my appointment at 2:00 pm. The staff sets me up, the doctor explains the procedure, and I roll into the procedure room chatting with the nurses. I always want to watch the journey on the screen, but I’m never able to stay awake. Next thing I know, I’m back in the recovery area. The doctor stops by to tell me I was squeaky clean – not a polyp in sight! He even gave me some photos to take home. No Facebook or Instagram here but quite interesting nonetheless. As required, my ride arrives to drive me home because the anesthesia leaves you groggy for a bit. I’m looking forward to a light dinner and a good night’s sleep. All in all, it was a pretty easy process to avoid cancer - see you in 5 years.