The best way out is through

Yesterday I got the news that I have to get a colonoscopy. Ugh. My GP sent me for a routine colon screening test – the FIT. It was almost an after-thought, at the end of my annual physical. Oh, he said, we should do this, too – now it’s part of the cancer agency screening program, just like a mammogram.

I had no symptoms, it was just a good idea to get it checked out. So I picked up the kit, followed the instructions the next morning, dropped off the sample at the lab that afternoon and forgot about it.

Two days later I got a call from my doctor. It’s never good news when your doctor’s office calls. The test was positive. He was quick to assure me that doesn’t mean I have colon cancer. It just meant the test found blood in my stool. Which could be a hemorrhoid, an ulcer, a polyp – lots of things that are not cancer.

Having just been through breast cancer and making it through my year of firsts with flying colours, this is a disappointment. That niggling fear that cancer is in you somewhere despite the chemo and radiation is never far from your thoughts. Mostly it lies dormant – but a call from your doctor’s office brings it front an centre pretty quick.

I’m waiting for the cancer agency to call with a scheduled date. As before, during my breast cancer treatments, it’s the waiting that is the hardest. They’ve assured me that 94% of all FIT tests that are positive are not cancer. Blood does not mean cancer. And, as friends who have been through it tell me, your colon is squeaky clean after (one joked that you feel really skinny).

This sucks. Not happy. But the best way out is through.

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