Colonoscopy naturally makes you think of all the inconvenience and yuck. Here’s the problem: If you compare the colonoscopy experience to your normal routine, you might be tempted to delay (or decline) the cancer screening test.
Not me. I compared my recent colonoscopy experience to what I knew from surviving a type of cancer for which no screening tests exist. During the three days I couldn’t eat normally before my colonoscopy, including a day of clear liquids only, I compared that to the months during which I really couldn’t eat because of chemo-related nausea. While doing the dreaded bowel cleanse at home, I compared that to the months of colitis caused by my chemo.
I was asleep for the actual colonoscopy. I was awake while undergoing chemo and radiation.
Now I’m waiting for my colonoscopy results and feeling carefree. This is nothing like waiting for results of scans and biopsies that were done to see if my cancer was responding to treatment—or had recurred. After my colonoscopy, the worst news I might get is that some polyps were removed before they had a chance to become cancer.
Wise comparisons lead to wise decisions. When you think about the inconvenience and discomforts of colonoscopy, compare them to the inconvenience and discomforts of life with colon cancer. A few days of inconvenience and one day of yuck may save you months of inconvenience and yuck. It may save your life.
As a Healthy Survivor, make the best comparison. Then make your call.