Three years ago I found a lump in my breast. A totally unexpected find. Back then, if you said I was going to be hit with the cancer stick sometime in my life I would have bet my money that the first strike would be bowel cancer. My early life on white bread and mushy vegetables and a deep rooted love of red wine and bacon would one day catch up with me.
In fact, three years ago I was about to ask my GP if I could have a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy because of some symptoms I had been having, combined with my family history of digestive issues such as diverticular disease and cancer. But breast cancer jumped in and stole all the limelight.
So since I got all that early breast cancer lark out of the way (with the exception of monthly injections, daily medications and two more surgeries ahead), I’m getting back on track with my quest for chasing the illustrious pot of health at the end of my rainbow. You see, a year ago I put myself out to pasture and it’s time I pull myself out of that paddock and stop with all that rich lucerne grass and start doing some serious work on the physical me.
I’m starting with task one tomorrow. A check up on the health of the insides of my digestive system with a Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy. (Aka GoPro Oesophagus/Stomach and GoPro Bowel).
I’m not worried about having a camera inserted in my mouth and up my butt. I’m looking forward to the surgical theatre chatter and the anaesthesia. It’s been a while!
Cancer Australia estimated over 17,000 new cases of bowel cancer would be diagnosed in 2015. That’s second place in the cancer occurrence stakes, smack bang between prostate (for males) and breast cancer in incidence. Bowel cancer is highly curable when detected early.
The most common symptoms of bowel cancer are:
- bleeding from the rectum (this may be noticed as blood in the stools).
- symptoms of anaemia.
- a change in bowel habit (loose stools or constipation).
- abdominal pain or cramping.
- weight loss.
- unexplained tiredness or fatigue.
Of worthy note, breast cancer survivors have an increased chance of subsequent colon cancer two times above the level of risk in the general population.
So this morn I woke up and prepared a glass of Picoprep. This bowel emptying solution can be purchased from any pharmacy for about eight dollars. It will also come with a knowing grin from the pharmacist, a grin that speaks of the atrocity that awaits you.
After school drop off, I drank my first sachet and I can only describe it a glass of warm urine from the body of a bloated, rancid, dead camel. You know, the kind that has spent a week lying in the Outback Australia sun.
Don’t be fooled by Picoprep’s attempt to camouflage itself as a glass of milk. It’s #hideous #vile #foul.
Today of all days, when I had to drink not one, but TWO glasses of this travesty, a highly anticipated new cafe opened up in my street. Normally, I’d be their first customer. Not today. Today, I was stuck with a clear liquid diet, free of dairy, and had to hover around the toilet at the ready. I can say that today, I may have pooped out things I ate back in 1989, the year Taylor Swift was born.
Thank the lord tomorrow is the procedure day, for after that, I’ll be down the road loving that new cafe in no time!
**Interestingly, Instagram already had the following hashtags about Picoprep #picoprepihateyou #picoprepcanstickit. So it would appear I’m not the only one to be totally distraught by this.