Yesterday was another follow-up appointment for my continued cancer free progress. My oncologist Dr. G, scheduled a CAT scan, which I have to get every six months, prior to me seeing him again to discuss my lab work.
I arrived at the extremely early hour (for me anyway) of 7:30 am to check in for the procedure. I sat for about 20 minutes prior to being ushered in the back of the building, where I would disrobe and put on one of those awful backless hospital gowns. I found a cabinet where there were extras and snagged a second one...if I was going to have to be without underwear, I was at least going to feel as little of a draft as necessary.
Mind you, I am used to being completely naked for many medical procedures, that part doesn't bother me. Since I had colon cancer it makes sense for your nether regions to be bare for the exam to be complete. What I wasn't expecting is the nurse gliding in with a big smile on her face chirping, "today you'll be doing a Barium enema, your doctor wants you to have one." Oh is that so? I had NO idea. Well ummm...OK then. She floated back out again and continued the preparations for the upcoming humiliation.
Mind you I had been drinking the VILE tasting Barium concoction the night before and been fasting to wake up to another bottom of the FOUL liquid. "Which would you prefer apple, berry or banana?" How about none, lady? and Why is everybody smiling? I had to drink another bottle once I was in the office and just about barfed all over the plush sienna toned carpet. Now I had to have this stuff pumped up my behind in an enema bag as well?
If that wasn't humiliating enough the nurses always seem to have a hard time finding veins in my arms. So they use the back of my hands. The last visit to this very same office ended up with them nearly having to find veins in the side of my neck and poking for nearly an hour before they found anything. I quickly reminded them of the last time (they remembered me) telling them anything more than three pricks meant that I was getting off the gurney and going home. They laughed. I didn't. They stopped laughing.
What a relief it was when on the first prick they were in hitting a vein, the nurses screamed and did a high five. I guess I have so much scar tissue from previous procedures that I only have a few spots left that actually work.
I'll spare you the gory details about the actual enema (say thank you). But it is something that I am not looking forward to happening again and I know that I will have to do it again.
Long(ish) story short. I told one of the kids that I work with on the unit that he should eat at least the apple off of his tray when all he wanted was the meat out of his burger and the fries. They usually serve a green salad and a fresh fruit with traditional junk food for the teens on the unit. They throw most of it out anyway. I called the boy to me and told him a story about a "girl who ate crap" and when she got older she regretted it because she had to have part of her colon removed and examinations that required probing of her butt. I had a straight face as the look of horror and disgust spread across his. He grabbed the apple and ran to the other kids in the day room and repeated what I just said. I heard the EEEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! of the other teens as I smugly left the unit. Everyone ate the apples off of their trays that night.
Colon cancer is the easiest cancer to avoid. I would hate for anyone else who doesn't have to go through what I'm going through. So I'm doing what I know that I have to...encouraging others, especially kids to develop good eating habits now, so they won't end up paying for it later.