Monday, June 20, 2011

Colon cancer

An event on my calendar that I am not looking forward to is my colonoscopy next week. Somehow I have not had one. About 6 years ago, I had one scheduled but I was told that I didn't prepare properly (they had given no instructions) and I was sent home. I scheduled another one a few years later on the day that I ended up having my first breast surgery. I obviously cancelled that one too. Now I have really bad insurance, which I guess is better than none but it is expensive and we don't receive much. For instance, certain cancer screenings are free including this colonoscopy but if they find one polyp, the screening colonoscopy turns into a diagnostic one and I will have to pay $1.4K minimum. Presumably half the population has these so there is a 50% chance that I'll end up having to pay the big bucks even if I don't have colon cancer. It really makes me want to skip the whole mess. I really have no risk factors aside from my age but then again almost as many people are diagnosed with colon cancer per year as breast cancer though a greater part of these cases are men whereas BC is almost all women.

The same rules apply to breast cancer screenings. Routine screening mammograms are free but if there is any problem, it becomes a diagnostic one and one pays through the nose for the multiple follow-ups. Before my last mammogram, I was told last year would be my last diagnostic one; henceforth they would be the free screening type. But then it turned out that I have a seroma at the site of one of the incisions that looks identical by mammogram to a tumor (though by ultrasound, it looks benign). Unless this thing disappears, which someday it should, each year I can look forward to paying for multiple scans. I would love to skip these things all together but I am at high risk for recurrence. Also I could not feel the original tumors despite them being only an inch below the surface. Now it would be impossible to feel anything as there is so much scar tissue and the seroma. The lady my age in my neighborhood who was diagnosed the same week as I with TNBC could feel her tumor but the mammogram would not pick it up. The scary tumors are the ones one can not feel or see by mammogram and these exist. So many bloggers have said things like Well it's a good thing I opted for a mastectomy as they found more tumors they didn't see before.

I spent some time this morning trying to photograph my hummingbirds as the light was good but they were spooked by the sound of the camera opening up. I try to keep it open but every minute it closes up automatically. Hummingbirds do not like to share space: if one is feeding, the other comes just to chase it away. I've seen males battle beak to beak in mid-air but I seem to have only one male living in the area now.
I've been trying to keep the feeder ant-free. The ants must take a very long trip to get is amazing how persistent they are. I put inverted masking tape on the holder so they will get stuck but the rain makes this unsticky.

Another unpleasant event on the calendar came and with a bang..out with a whimper. Another unpleasant chapter closed. Lesson learned: life is unfair.

1 comment:

Holly said...

sorry about the ridiculous costs involved but the colonoscopy isn't at all bad...though the prep is sheer hell! good luck.


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