Valentines’ Day: Candied hearts. Chocolate. Flowers. Dinner at a restaurant. *Yawn*  Though perhaps enjoyable, these things hardly prove enduring love. If you really want to prove your love for others have a colonoscopy!

That is exactly how my dear husband and I celebrated  this year. It was time for my regularly scheduled colonoscopy. You might groan and roll your eyes, but me, I’m grateful!

My father died of colon cancer. The most heartbreaking part of the whole experience was Dad did not have to die that way. Colon cancer runs in families and his mother had it at a young age. (She had surgery in the 1940’s and lived 40 more very active years.) Several times I asked Dad to have a colonoscopy.

My dear father. He loved to hike.

Dad loved me, but he was “old school.”
He didn’t have any symptoms.
Why bother?
He was fine.

But he wasn’t.
By the time his symptoms appeared, it was too late.

Colon cancer is the one cancer that can be prevented. How wonderful! Yet too many people shy away from the very procedure that can save their life: the colonoscopy.

Thanks to Katie Couric, I didn’t fear the colonoscopy. After her husband died of colon cancer in his early 40’s, Katie educated millions in 1998 by broadcasting her own colonoscopy procedure. See for yourself at

The nightmare stories of the prep are a bit exaggerated. Besides, if you do get colon cancer you will have even more colonoscopies and treatments that are way worse. Why not have the least amount of discomfort while you have the greatest amount of control?

Plan ahead by having a good stock of the drinks, broth and jello allowed for your liquid fast the day before your procedure. 
You’ll be home for the prep, so be in comfy, loose clothes and stay close to the bathroom.

My husband thoughtfully bought me a DVD  I had wanted. It helped to distract me as I drank the prep liquid and waited for results. And thanks to the pause button on the remote, I didn’t miss a thing despite numerous trips to the bathroom.

In addition to the DVD, my husband stayed up with me until 2:00 AM, the time my system completely cleared. He took me to the appointment . As I tried to stay warm under a thin hospital bed sheet, he rubbed my feet. And when I woke from the anesthesia, he was sitting by my side. That is love!

Honestly, for me, the hardest part of the whole thing is being off of my pain medications for the week prior to the big day.

Known risk factors for colon cancer include: being 50 years old or older, ulcerative colitis or Chron’s disease, family history, obesity, diabetes, a low fiber high fat diet, smoking, and heavy use of alcohol.

If you have a family history, start colonoscopies before you turn 50. If you don’t have a family history, you still need this life saving procedure. Seventy-five percent of new colon cancer patients have no family history.

There are lots of tips to help get through the prep at  And while I will admit there were a few times I felt as if I couldn’t drink another drop of solution, I got over it quickly.

All it took was thinking about my friends and family who have been through this miserable disease. Drinking the prep is so much easier than having the disease.

What about you? Have you had your colonoscopy?

Know someone who should have one?
Is there someone you can help love through the prep and procedure?

Share the love by sending them this blog with a little note of your own.

Screen da’ bum! Get your butt to the doctor!
Then enjoy the assurance of being healthy inside and out.

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