My phone rang at work today.
“Hi Mom, what’s up?”
“I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?”
Hmm, I try to remember if I’ve heard any recent family updates that I’m supposed to remember. Can’t think of anything right away so I respond, “I’ll take the bad news first, then top it off with the good news. Hit me, Mom.”
“Well, okay. Here’s the bad news. You need to have a colonoscopy.”
“Good grief Mom, what is the good news?”
“Well, the good news is that I passed my colonoscopy with flying colors,” crowed my mother.
I was trying to figure out how these two bits of news were related…..
As it turns out, my mother did pass her colonoscopy with flying colors. But, as she explained gleefully on the phone, several pre-cancerous polyps were discovered and promptly removed. The physician wrote her a letter, summarizing the results and tell her that she needed to tell all her children they must have their first colonoscopy starting at age 40 instead of the usual age 50.
“And so that’s why I’m calling you, to tell you that you need to have a colonoscopy as soon as possible,” she finished.
“Mom, I think you’re enjoying this a little bit too much.”
“I know. I think I’ll go get a glass of wine now,” she giggled.
Now who’s the parent? “Mooooommmm,” I moaned. “Why are you doing this to me? I’m busy, I have a schedule, I don’t have time for a colonoscopy.”
“I know,” she replied. “But it’s important. You know, your Uncle Frank died of colon cancer.”
Which is true and of course, I had completely forgotten. And my mother loves me desperately. She just has a small mean bone in addition to her funny bone so she enjoys yanking my chain once in a while. I guess when you’re over 70 you are allowed to give your kids a hard time once in a while, just for the fun. So now I have to go convince my doctor that I need a colonoscopy even though I’m 46 and then I get to go through the cleansing routine. Maybe I’ll lose a couple of pounds during the process. That would be cool.
Later that week I had lunch with my parents. My dad and I were talking about my soon to be scheduled colonoscopy. He had a great story to tell me.
“The first time I had to go through a colonoscopy my doctor explained I would only have to worry about the first one,” he said. “Colon cancer grows so slowly that even with checkups every five years, there would always be enough time to deal with anything that had cropped up in between the procedures.”
Apparently, the people that wait, postpone, delay, and otherwise ignore the first colonoscopy are most likely to have the bad luck. If that isn’t an impetus for getting myself roto-rootered I don’t know what what is. Hubba hubba, here I come.