Over 50? Stop stalling and get that colonoscopy


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Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 28, 2008 - 10:53am PT
Home from the hospital where I had surgery to remove a section of colon containing a cancerous polyp. Got the cancer diagnosis about 10 days ago and itís been an eventful time. Had surgery last Tuesday, was in the hospital for 5 days and will be home recovering for a while. Prognosis is good; the cancer had not spread and itís pretty likely the surgery is the last treatment Iíll need.

Donít put off the colonoscopy my friends. Itís not as bad as it sounds and it can be a lifesaver, granting you extra years to play in the mountains.


Trad climber
Jan 28, 2008 - 11:01am PT
YIKES, Ricky!

You're bummin' me out!

MAN. . . I'm sending you the best of the best vibes!

Focus on the magic, my friend, and keep it alive!


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 28, 2008 - 11:04am PT
thanks for the reminder Rick,
get well!

Trad climber
Jan 28, 2008 - 11:14am PT
My Dad had colon cancer in his mid sixties; they got it in time. I've had three colonoscopies over the years; and, right, not much to them.
Bart Fay

Social climber
Redlands, CA
Jan 28, 2008 - 11:55am PT
Good Luck Rick. Heal well. Glad they caught it in time. Nobody likes the
threat of a colostomy, or worse. Hope all the fun is all behind you now.

I've been enduring them annually for over a decade. Those sadists. Itís the fasting
and prep that sucks. Dirt is our local colonoscopy expert. He'll be along any time now.

Edit: Rokjox you are quite the ray of sunshine this morning.
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:02pm PT
Good luck Rick. I am glad that you caught it early. Nothing has shown up my physical exams for colon cancer, but my PSA levels for prostate cancer were elevated and increasing, to the point that statistically I had a 36% chance of prostate cancer. I had the biopsy just before Christmas and, fortunately for me, I have no cancer.

I hope your healing is fast and complete.

Best, Roger

Edited. I was confusing colon and prostate cancers.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:06pm PT
amen, rick. it's never too early. hell, if you're male, go in at 40.

i got my first in 2002, and am going in for my next in march. getting an endoscopy at the same time.

gotta remind the doc to change scopes between the two procedures.....

Trad climber
new york, NY
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:11pm PT
My dad always says, "Except for the part where they stick a camera up your a*#, its really no big deal."
But then he's remembered none of it, they dope him all up before hand. So how bad could it be?

Heal well.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:22pm PT
Speedy recovery Ricky and thanks for the prompting!

Trad climber
santa cruz
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:42pm PT
ooh i got one of those when they couldn't figure out what was wrong with my tummy. also had an upper GI x-ray where they make you drink barium chloride (goopy chalky awful shit) and strap you to a wheel of fortune thing and spin you around so the barium gets through your gullet faster.
with the colonoscopy you have to drink the roto-rooter crap until you sh#t clear. i sh#t you not. hehe. and no water. so by the time i saw the doctor i was way loopy from dehydration and puked bile on his shoes before being wheeled into the op room, where they were playing some classic rock full blast and demerol'd me into submission.
the best part is they never found anything wrong with me. so i have "irritable bowel syndrome".

have fun! i can't wait till i'm over 50 or get another excuse.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:46pm PT
Glad to hear it worked out, Rick.

And I'm sure EKat didn't really mean it when she said "You're bummin' me out!"

I had a screening colonoscopy last year, which came up clean. Well worth the effort. I had a sedative, but woke up part way through and got to watch the fun on TV. The stuff they give you beforehand, to clean you out, is less fun, but necessary.

My doctor says the single most helpful medical thing most of us male young-forever healthy climber types can do for ourselves is get an annual physical.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:12pm PT
Rokjox, be that as it may, stay healthy.

be sure to vote for the candidate that will address your issues this coming election.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:26pm PT
Well BV, I don't know what an endoscopy is but it SOUNDS like a colonoscopy!

Never could understand why some people consider items inserted there as "recreation", but it takes all kinds. I've known some women,...well lets not go there.

Annual physicals seem bad enough, and I hate the surgery type fasting/ cleansing routine but I know you are right about it Rick, and good for you for catching it, and heal up fast.
In fact I'm making an appointment to have one,....soon.

Funny (true) story regarding aforementioned recreation;
a friend is an ER doc in Boulder where an adult male came in with an apple stuck in his rectum. My friend inquired of the patient how the condition developed (like he HAD to ask!).

The patient stated that he was eating an apple in the shower and slipped.

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:28pm PT
Good luck, Rick. I just had my first one a few months ago. Piece of cake. I remember distinctly the very last word I said to the doctor before I went under and then woke up an hour later and it was all over. Luckily, I had no polyps.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:32pm PT
A climber friend wasn't so lucky - excellent health, early 50s, etc. Started to have stomach problems, went for tests, eventually found colorectal cancer. They chopped out a bunch of his colon, a fairly serious operation. He had a colostomy bag for a while, until they could hook up the plumbing bag again, and his stomach and digestion have never completely got back to normal.

No family history of such problems, just out of the blue. His immediate family members now all have to get regular colonoscopies, as a preventive thing.

Social climber
Enron by the Sea
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:42pm PT
Thanks, Rick, I'm one of those in the ballpark, and it brings up choice some of us may face.

Had a sigmoidoscopy done a few years ago, 'cuz my health plan GP said that was plenty good enough. Having read a little since, I'm not sure I buy that entirely, but's it's a big insurance/cash issue for those without excellent insurance or savings. Bottom line for healthcare providers (and those of us in HMOs, etc.) is that one procedure (colonoscopy) is much more expensive than what I had done, but it is more thorough and effective in spotting trouble.

The questions then are: How much more effective? .5%, 5%, 20%? Should I demand a colonoscopy and/or pay the difference out of my own pocket?

Any docs, healthcare pros, or procedure veterans care to weigh in on this one? You might save a few of us!
taco bill

Trad climber
boulder, co
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:45pm PT
Get healthy Rick. My father in law has been going through the same thing. Glad you caught it early.

scuffy b

Stump with a backrest
Jan 28, 2008 - 02:56pm PT
Good Luck, Rick.
Of course, everyone should be going for the procedure.
My biggest complaint is that I get a fairy tale beforehand,
regarding the leadup and my interaction with the
Every time I have gone into general anaesthesia, there has been
no warning, I've never been informed that the drugs have been
applied. Nothing about counting backwards or anything.
It's just this. They wheel me into a room, then I wake up
somewhere else.
Does that sound like I'm getting my money's worth?

(they always tell me something will happen, like, "We're giving
you some Sodium Pentothal now")
Bart Fay

Social climber
Redlands, CA
Jan 28, 2008 - 03:23pm PT
I am seriously going to ask the anesthesiologist to bring it on slowly next time. That's gotta
be one of the best feelings, that slipping out of consciousness. Pity that you
only get to feel it for a few short seconds.

Endoscopy is more fun in that regard. They take you down slowly so they can better keep
you in twilight as you need to move around to accommodate the scope. But, there is the
down side of the constant gagging from having a .55in tube 36inches down your throat.
I've only had six of those. :-) )-:
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 28, 2008 - 03:33pm PT

So it is a misleading term.
An endoscopy is really a beginningoscopy.
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