Poop test kit.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about those three words, mostly because I’m over 50 years of age–in fact, closer to 60 than 50 (how did that happen?!)–and four or more years overdue for colon cancer screening.
Why? Because I’m a procrastinator and as the doctor would say, “a reluctant attendee” to some (okay just this one) necessary duty of personal pro-health management.
Because let’s face it, who wants to mess with a number two–on purpose?
I did that enough when my kids were little when I was searching for the cherry pit and 10-cent piece they had inadvertently swallowed, in order to make sure it actually came out the other end.
All I really gleaned from such missions was how fast kernels of corn can pass through the human digestive tract and come out looking pretty much the way they did when they went in.
I’d probably win a contest for the most poop test kits brought home over the years from the doctor’s office and left to collect dust in the bathroom cupboard. My excuses are ninny-like and remarkably based on being afraid of the unknown.
Yes, I would tell myself that if I didn’t check my own poop, I’d be okay anyway.
And for someone who often encourages others about the many benefits of “the more you know,” my own selfish reasoning around not dealing with my own poop hasn’t helped the cause at all.
But three people I know recently were diagnosed with colon cancer. Two of them face major surgery. The other one didn’t have time for any solutions and has died of the disease.
When that happened, I basically stopped being stupid. I made the decision to request a new poop test kit and get to the job of filling up that little test card with my own personal collection.
I also decided to get educated. I went online to www.coloncancercanada.ca and did a lot of reading.
I also went to the CBC website’s health page and watched Dr. Barry Lumb, a gastroenterologist at Hamilton Health Science Centre in Hamilton, Ont., perform a colonoscopy on his patient, Dan Logan (whom I now think is one of the bravest, coolest guys ever), live on Facebook.
Dr. Lumb used social media to get the word out about poop tests, colonoscopies, and cancer prevention–and it worked.
To keep this column piece somewhat lighthearted and humorous, and (no pun intended) to poke fun at myself for my misgivings, I admit I’m not enjoying being proactive with my own poop. In fact, I rather suck at being professional at it, having gotten it on more than just the little window of on the test card.
Oh well, that’s what hand soap is for.
But just think, maybe somebody out there who’s reading this will decide to do what I did and have that colon conversation with his or her doctor because it really is the right thing to do.
Poop test kit.