Friday, April 06, 2007

You Should Skip This If You Get Queasy.......

This is a post about my colon, lol. You've been warned.

Three years ago Grace had multiple pre-cancerous and one cancerous polyps. It was a very scary time for us. She kept the symptoms and the first colonoscopy a secret. Only my parents knew. I found out accidently when I called her after the colonoscopy. I was calling to leave a message on her answering machine, and I was startled when she answered. I demanded to know why she was home in the middle of the day. She was groggy enough to answer me. I was devastated. It was a M&M/Coca Cola mainlining moment (mixing them and shaking the bottle and gulping it down). It took a few weeks, and more than one colonoscopy, but it all worked out. She didn't need radiation or chemo or surgery and she is cancer free. So, of course, she became the colonoscopy Nazi! She has been hounding the everliving daylights out of us to go.

So first she convinced my Dad. It didn't take much convincing because he is very health conscious. He is very healthy, fit, 72 year old. He had some polyps, but not bad ones, there you go, all clear, see you later. Next, they pester my mother and finally she goes, same deal, a few polyps, not bad ones, bye-bye. Now Grace turns her energies on us. I don't know how she convinced my brother, but she did and he had no I pronounced him to be, what I knew he was all along............a perfect asshole! Now it's down to Jen and I, and the pressure is increasing. Jen breaks first, she went a few months ago and the doctor told her that she had "an unremarkable colon".

Now, the cheese stands alone.

Let me backtrack for a moment. Jen, Frank and I look alike. We look like our father. Grace does not. Not in coloring or features or build. So, I have always taken great delight in speculating that Grace was switched in the nursery. I took some minor story about her baby bracelet falling off in the nursery (true) and spun it into a whole story about Grace belonging to some Italian family somewhere in the North End (not true, she looks like my mother's family). So, whenever Grace would pester me....and trust me, pester is the only word that applies.....I would explain that I had no worries because she was not genetically related to me. SB can NOT believe that I am so mean. I don't know why he can't believe it. I am that mean.

So finally I crack under the pressure. Last Friday, I give and make an appointment for today. What the hell, if you have to fast it might as well be on Good Friday! I had breakfast Thursday and then nothing. I should have scheduled a Tanker Brothers Rolling Victory Fast day, lol (double points!). So last night Jen takes me to my parent's house, after all they are 10 minutes from MGH. That was the other thing, we all had to go to Grace's doctor. Between her multiple appointments and all the rest of us, my father is recognized as an official escort, lol. I'm not kidding. When Jen went and they asked who her escort was, my Dad popped his head around and the girl recognized him and gave him a big warm hello. He told them Jen would have Lorna Doone cookies and apple juice before they could even offer the choices.

Taking that drink and purging? That took longer than both of my labors combined! Good Lord! I watched movies most of the night. I called Grace but she was out. I told Debbie (her daughter/my god-daughter) "Have her call me, I am going to yell at her all night!" Debbie said that she would probably wait until after CSI if I was going to yell. I told Deb I was calling CBS and having CSI cancelled. When I woke up this morning everything I had moved in my parent's house was put back and my clothes were washed and dried. My Dad scares me. Between their organization and punctuality and needing plans nailed down, Jen and I speculate that perhaps I am the one who is not genetically related!

Now this project took a little more planning because I had thoughtlessly scheduled on a Friday at 1300 hours. It is well known in my extended family that Friday at 1330 it's lunch at the Tavern. My parents and my aunt and uncle have lunch together every Friday, pretty much without fail. If one of my mother's other brothers is around they stop by, knowing exactly where to find their siblings and in-laws. So first my mother announced that my father will drive me to MGH and her brother will take the rest in his car to the tavern. Then my uncle Frank calls to say, no, he will pick all of us up, drop my mother and his wife at the tavern, then both he and my father will take me to MGH and return to their wives at the tavern. Then my father comes downstairs and announces that no one should be interfering in his plans. He will take my uncle Frank's car, drop me at MGH, come back for the rest and go to the Tavern. I, very wisely say nothing. My father wins and off we go.

First nurse reviews my chart and asks if I have am I there? I am not 50. I explain about Grace relentlessly hounding me. That I am going to hold this waste of time over her head forever!

Next nurse.....same questions.....same answer.

Doctor.......same questions.........same answer. He explains that he told Grace to get us all to do this. Whatever. All that matters is I will torment Grace with this tale of suffering and woe.

I'll skip the gross parts except to say...........they found something, two somethings. Their chattering excitement woke me up. You'd think they found the prize in the G-D CrackerJack box! The nurse puts her hand on my arm and says "Thank God for Grace!" Oh MY GOD! She will hold this over me forever! What am I going to do now? When I am in recovery the doctor comes over to tell me how lucky I am. If I had waited until I was 50 or until I had symptoms it would have been bad. He tells me I have a lot to thank my sister for. Oh MY GOD! The recovery room nurse reviews that chart and remarks how lucky I am to have caught this early, why did I come in? Big sigh. "My sister." Well, thank goodness for your sister." Oh MY GOD! After a few minutes the recovery room nurse and I realize we know each other from the Nook. I ask her if I have to tell anyone about my results and she laughs and tells me "No, they are your secret."

My father waits until we are alone at the elevators. "Well?" "Do I have to tell you?" "Yes! Yes! I'm your father!" (puffing up his chest). I tell him and he says I have to "...tell Mummy..." (lol, he cracks me up when he says that)"...but I don't have to tell Grace".

I tell my mother and she laughs at even the thought that I might withhold this information from Grace or that Grace would let me.

Jen calls......I tell her. "Wow." she says. "My life is over." I whine. "Grace already doesn't respect my authority as the eldest." Jen laughs because NO ONE respects my authority as the eldest.

Grace calls........I tell her. Big shout of laughter. Lot's of crowing. It was very unseemly, Grace.

SB calls.......I don't tell him immediately. He makes nervous conversation. I make him draw the information out of me. I tell him that the doctor told me that if I had waited it would have been bad. He is quiet for a moment. He tells me to call Grace back and relay a message from him...."Thank you."

I call Grace back and tell her. She laughs and says she wants a box of chocolate covered coconut.

Jen shows up to drive me home. She brings me Coke and M&Ms. I couldn't drink the Coke (no carbonated beverages for another day), but I greedily consume the M&Ms.

So...........Thank You, Grace.


Anonymous said...

One word baby: GOLYTELY PREP

Take as directed. May 17th is my day.

(yes, of course I know that was more than 1 word)


Barb said...

Had mine 3 years ago - luckily nothing at all was found. I just got an email from a former co-worker who had to have part of his colon taken out, and will start chemo soon. He's a great guy, with wonderful spirit, and is looking at a reasonably good prognosis, considering.

I'm glad that you went and got it taken care of! And I'm glad your sister didn't quit nagging :-)

AFSister said...

LOLOLOLOL... knowing you, admitting to ANYONE you were WRONG is just funny as hell- especially a younger sibling.

And with my fit of laughter out of the way, I can happily say "Tell Grace THANK YOU from AFSis." Glad you're ok, Maggs. Seriously.

Nate said...

Just two weeks removed from surgery on my colon after having a lesion removed- early and pre-cancerous, due to following my Doc's directions and spouse's nagging.

Am I a believer in getting borescoped? You bet. Congrats on a succesful outcome and listening to your Sis

Anonymous said...

Ah - Humble Pie. The balm that soothes all prickly egoes. Thank God for the ones in our lives that care for us even if their methods are chaffing.

I'm glad that all was "nipped-in-the-butt **er**bud"