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No Gunner, but no cancer, either

April 12, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
I didn’t write on Thursday, but I had a great excuse: I was under the influence of Propofol.

No, I wasn’t trying to Be Like Michael (Jackson, that is). I was having a rite of passage into the “golden years.” It was colonsocopy time.

I had one back around age 29 or 30 to make sure something that was going on wasn’t worse than it appeared. That time, I was accompanied by my dad, who drove me to the hospital and listened intently as I sat down with Bob Prince and announced a couple innings of Bucco baseball under the influence of whatever it was they shot me up with back at good old Ohio Valley Hospital. I recall it being the bottom of the third and Stargell was coming to the plate with two on base when I woke up. Darnit.

My experience at Trinity West on Thursday was a pleasant as having a camera put in one’ exhaust port can be. After a day of prep (my doctor prescribes a cocktail of over-the-counter stuff that made Wednesday a day to read a lot of back issues of Motor Trend in the “reading room”), Thursday was simple.

My wife was given an LED hockey puck (like they use at the Olive Garden, only there weren’t any bottomless pasta bowls waiting at the other end, just me), and off I was whisked. The personnel from the nurses to the anesthesiologist to my doc were all as pleasant as could be. And the last thing I remember was the doc saying, “That’s a clean shave,” as he patted my chrome dome. “I wanted to be all shiny for you,” I said. Then I woke up, feeling all refreshed and ready to sing “Thriller” to a multitude -- NOT.

The doc walked by, said “Two polyps, no cancer, see you in a couple weeks.”

I assume at this point that the LED hockey puck thing went off because The Boss was outside with the car when they wheeled me out the door.

And that was that.

The point is, if you’ve not gone for your screening yet, and you're over 50 and you're supposed to go, do it.

The American Cancer Society predicts about 143,000 new cases of colon and rectal cancer will be found this year. We’ve all got about a 5 percent chance of getting colon cancer in our lifetime, and it’s about the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Early detection keeps the odds in favor of those 143,000 cases not become part of the second-leading cause of cancer-related death.

The ACS says those death stats are dropping because screening is leading to polyp removals before they become cancerous. And I spent the day Thursday kind of buzzed out in the recliner, but I didn’t get to see The Gunner. (He poured me screwdrivers in Weirton a couple of times, really, and that wasn’t the anesthetic talking, but more on that some other day.)

At least I won’t be seeing him for real in the afterlife as a result of an undetected cancer in my guts at any time soon.


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