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Like many cancers, colon cancer is an insidious killer in its final stages; however, it can be cured (excised), if caught early. That's why we should all take advantage of the tests that screen for it. The tests come in several levels. For the young and not-quite-so-young, the simple take-home-and-send-off kits will suffice. When one reaches a certain age, depending on risk factors, you graduate to a full-blown colonoscopy. That's where you star in a video of a colon probe's exploratory voyage. Six years ago, I found myself at that certain age. The video was made, four pre-cancerous polyps were removed, and I was told to repeat the process in five years.

Yesterday, I reached the end of my procrastination period and repeated the video process. Preparation was arduous, a day of fasting, except for clear broth, followed by an evening potion of vaguely lemony-favored liquid. The one-liter potion insured the probe's voyage would be unhindered by obstructions. Later, this was followed by second liter of liquid that made doubly sure the passageway was clear. I was scheduled to report at 7:30 am for an 8:30 photoshoot, and the instructions called for the second dose to occur 5 hours before that or 3:30 am. We live 45 minutes from the hospital and given the history of the first liter, I was nervous about having problems on the trip, so I fudged and took the second dose an hour early. I'm glad I did.

The video process promptly started at 10 am and I'm told it was finished before 10:30. "No polyps," Kathy said the doctor said. "You can wait 10 years instead of 5 this time."

Silently, I wondered whether the doctor would still be practicing medicine, 12 years from now.
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