Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Colon Cancer Awareness


March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. What you need to be aware of is that Colon Cancer is preventable and it can be caught in time with a colonoscopy. The Health Care Act now makes insurance companies pay 100 percent for cancer pre-screening tests.

I know it is not a pretty subject to talk about and yes, it is not a pleasant test, but I can tell you it is far easier to do than chemotherapy. I am surviving with stage 4 colon cancer since April, 2011. Please, please, please get screened. Take my word for it, you don’t want to do chemo. The following quote (author unknown) says it all: “The only thing worse than a colonoscopy is dying because you didn’t get one.”

Be well.

El Dorado

Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 10 comments

  • cookie65March 06, 2013 - 4:04 pm

    I normally wouldn't do this but.... I was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer, I don’t care much for the term “survivor” because what I had, has more to do with my outcome than I do. Having lost friends and family who did lose the battle because what they had was just not treatable. They were every bit as tough as anyone else. I have had 43 radiation treatments, dozens of CT scans, Pet scans, lots of x-rays, 4 surgeries, oral chemo (Xeloda, if you have any leftover you can use it to get rid of rats) , infusion chemo (5FU, you wear a pump for 46 hours attached to a port surgically implanted in your chest and they send you home with a hazmat kit), long term side effects from the chemo, enough blood drawn to give a horse a transfusion, enough needles to supply an Olympic dart team and over 20 days wondering why hospitals prepare food that my dogs wouldn’t eat. I was lucky because I had symptoms. Many times there are no symptoms. And by the time they discover it treatment may not stop it. I also had the most common type, adenocarcinoma which makes up over 90% of all colon cancers. So they know a lot about it and how to treat it. I also have no family history of it. So don't for a second believe that has anything to do with it. I had @10 inches of my colon removed (7 ½ hour surgery) and was on a colostomy bag for 10 1/2 months. I have had an ileostomy reversal surgery and without getting into details, so far so good. I am writing something for one of my doctors from the patient’s perspective. Something along the lines of "surviving cancer treatment". I heard an interesting conversation while at an appointment the other day from the hallway behind the door to the exam room I was waiting in. Two men were talking and one of them made a couple of statements that all of America should hear. He said "32 million Americans are 65 or older, (also something about how many more are joining that age group that I didn't hear) 70% of all cancer occurs in this age group". He went on to say that there is "no possible way we can pay for it" and called it a "quagmire". I cannot tell you anything about the credibility of whoever made the claim but I can tell you I was at the UC Davis Cancer Center on X st when I heard it. I know from personal experience that your life can change in an instant so take the advice of this letter. Colon cancer is highly treatable, I have met people who are 10, 15 and even 20 year survivors. I cannot say enough about my doctors and all their staff for what they have done for me and many others. Whenever I hear someone complaining about getting old I wonder if they understand how many people don’t get to.

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  • DB SmithMarch 06, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    Cookie, Your beliefs and statements make you a very special person in my thoughts. Thank you for being YOU!

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  • DB SmithMarch 06, 2013 - 4:27 pm

    Added: I swear...if you need anything done while getting through this you can get me @

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  • James E.March 06, 2013 - 4:37 pm

    Cookie, we don't agree politically but I'm mentally giving you an extremely long and warm mental hug. And, for those two gentlemen discussing that we cannot afford treatment for our citizens, somehow we can afford $3 Trillion for a vanity war that did not have to happen, but we cannot afford to treat our citizens. Oh, and addition to the $3 Trillion, large vats of spilled blood and over four thousand young lives. Never to get old. Our priorities are so screwed up.

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  • cookie65March 06, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    James, thank you and you are 100% correct. As far as I am concerned the entire middle east is not worth one single drop of American blood. There is an answer but we are stuck with politicians who lack the guts to say so. The only reason we have anything to do with those 9th century throwbacks is because of oil. And if we were energy independent we could address the problem like responsible adults. It isn’t complicated. We could remove every last dime we have ever spent or invested in that part of the world and leave them to butcher each other. Letting them know with no uncertain terms that if they ever do any harm to a single American citizen we will melt them. One day it will come to that because of who they are. The issue here at home that we need to overcome is the obstacle to our energy independence and that is the anti-energy leftists in this country who keep us dependent on foreign oil. We have the resources to create energy independence in this country for hundreds of years. The proper role of government in this situation is to establish the condition that any and all energy discovered and produced here at home stays here at home and off the world market. Tell me what that would do to the price of oil overnight if America was no longer a buyer of foreign oil and how would it effect the ability of those savages to inflict harm to others around the world? To bad we have visionaries such as nancy Pelosi who puts her own political ambitions over any reasonable solutions or principles.

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  • cookie65March 06, 2013 - 8:33 pm

    Something to think about. My doctors told me I probably had it for several years without any symptoms.

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  • Phil VeerkampMarch 06, 2013 - 8:51 pm

    Thanks, Cookie . . . doing a self exam now . . . uh . . . perhaps not . . . to-do list . . . soon

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  • cookie65March 06, 2013 - 9:13 pm

    Funny stuff Phil. Self exams are easy for obama voters, all they have to do is open their eyes.

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  • Ken SteersMarch 07, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    Cookie, I also have had to deal with living with a colostomy bag for a year. While wearing the bag I gave a sales presentation to a group at Aerojet. I wasn't doing well with the presentation and knew it. I began sweating and the seal came lose from the stoma. My bag leaked all over my side in front of the strangers. I was horrified and embarrassed. But on the bright side, those people felt so sorry for me that they gave me the account. After that, when a sales call would start turning south, I'd peel the bag back and let things fall where they may. LOL. I've lived with a J-pouch for 21 years now. Just a speed bump on life's high way. I'd like to thank Dr Peter Zegarra who performed my surgery. My son has shown symptoms and has a sigmoidoscopy scheduled for Wednesday. If test positive, he'd be my only child with our disease. I can tell you Cookie that I can deal with the disease MUCH more easily with me than my baby. My senses have dulled dramatically waiting for his diagnosis. One thing is for sure, colon cancer is a real pain in the... There's nothing funny about it.

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  • cookie65March 08, 2013 - 10:53 am

    Ken, I had a few bad adhesion experiences. I woke up in the middle of the night once with my bag so full of air (something I am sure you know all about) that it had broken loose. It was not fun. The other times was when I was forced to change the bag myself, never could get it to seal completely. I totally understand how you feel about your son and I am with you in hoping for the best for him. One thing I experienced was that my cancer effected those around me mentally and emotionally more than it did me. Like you I thought of it as a bump in the road. I would be wrecked it one of my sons had to go thru it.

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