colonoscopy > cancer… advocate for your health!

I’m compelled to share some personal news in case someone needs to hear it. In July 2022 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I’ve since had a successful surgery followed by chemotherapy treatment. It has been gruelling to endure, and my “cancer journey” certainly isn’t over, but I’m now thankfully into the monitoring stage.

However, I’m acutely aware it could have been way worse. If I hadn’t pushed for a colonoscopy the doctors wanted to wait another 2 years. I hate to think of the outcome if I’d accepted that initial discussion. My point is: it’s vital to be your own best health advocate.

It’s not easy. Especially if you’re dismissed for not fitting the profile (e.g. under 40, seemingly healthy). If you feel like you aren’t being heard, talk louder or find someone who will listen. My situation is extreme – not everyone needs a colonoscopy. However, if you do or have any symptoms, please talk to a doctor. Most of my symptoms e.g. fatigue I put down to other things, but one symptom I missed was night sweats (I didn’t know it was a symptom, thought I was just a sweaty bitch under a heavy doona).

Colonoscopies really aren’t that bad: in Australia you’re completely asleep for it and remember nothing; and in Canada they use “conscious sedation” so you might be awake, but it’s okay. The worst part is the prep. And afterwards you wake up to a snack and cup of tea! I can attest scopes are WAY better than having cancer.

A friend heard my story and urged their relative to push for a colonoscopy and they were glad they did. So I’m sharing in case someone else needs the encouragement to book that appointment, look for a new doctor, or advocate for their health in some way. As I know only too well, we all only get one shot at this.

Hit me up if you have questions.

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