Friday, April 1, 2011

Praying for colons

I have never written about religion or my religious beliefs on my blog. I am not starting today but I will tell you I pray every day. I don’t pray for things like handbags, promotions or please God let us sell these houses one day (although, that would be a good one, too bad thousands of others are already doing that so we would be way down the line.) But, my prayers are focused on safety for my family, patience (not quite fulfilled yet) and primarily special measures for people I know who need it.

As I wrapped up my night on Wednesday, I was praying for several people. Afterward I realized, that was a first: praying for colons. Well, not really colons plural but a colon, singular.

My older brother had a health scare. There were appointments. There were discussions. And there were additional health scares including a hospitalization while he was on vacation in Hawaii. He is very private about this situation but I realized that you would not know him if he was sitting next to you and those of his friends who read my blog already know this situation.

My brother has taken a multi-month leave of absence and flown home to have medical attention in Seattle. Many appointments, many discussions, and many unknowns. The situation took a recent turn. Procedures were mentioned as solutions but those procedures seemed a little overwhelming. And words like “colon cancer” were also used which scared me and made me wish we could simply and immediately return to talking about the procedures. I would take the procedures over the other and it isn’t even my colon.

When he had a conversation with a doctor and the word ‘cancer’ was used, I can’t fathom how he must have felt. When he relayed the conversation to me, he was completely composed. But I know him well enough to detect his voice sounded like it bounced over gravel a few times before finally reaching my ear.  When I hung up, I called my Mom because I knew she would be filled with angst incomparable to mother angst when your child breaks a leg or falls off a bicycle.

And when we are relayed information full of dark gaps of unknowns, we all react differently. Some are pragmatic, some are aloof, and some are scared silly. Sometimes a combination of all of those elements. My initial response was a feeling of illness. My secondary resposne was he isn't going anywhere. Seriously. Even though he tells some terrible jokes (admit it) and is a fairly bad dancer (stop it, you know its true) he is one of the most generous, heartfelt, capable and giving people I know. Plus he must continue to instill his musical genius and talent in my child.

My brother is in his early 40’s. And having a health scare is hard enough but ‘cancer’ is not a welcome word in any house, in any heart, at any age. And having multiple conversations with him about it, I realized that humor can help but no amount of joking actually builds a ladder to pull someone out of the situation. The only thing he needed was information and support. (And listen, it is pretty easy to make jokes about colons..I mean come ON, it is practically a gimme. )

And men, while I don't envy you in getting your colon checked, you must do it. A dear friend of my Mom's has colon cancer and it could have been addressed much earlier but he never had it checked until it was well past the initial discovery. I know, it isn't a tickle party. But get the screening. It could save your life.

Good news this week: It is NOT cancer. Yesterday included a variety of tests that will hopefully lead to an answer in the very near-term. In the interim, I will continue praying for the colon.  

35 comments:

Intense Guy said...

I just a referral for a colonoscopy that I've been ... not in a rush to schedule - so how's that for timing?

I hope you brother gets well soonest - and I'm glad they don't think it is that dreaded "C"-stuff.

On a lighter, totally irreverent side, my first thought was - if they had a ribbon for colon cancer like they do for breast cancer... what color would it be? And yeah... you know it...


...brown.

Morgan said...

So glad it's not cancer. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Jules said...

Whew! Keeping your brother and family in my thoughts!

Kristina P. said...

This is such good news.

We have a famous figure here, in Utah, who recently passed away from colon cancer. He never got screened, so there has been a lot of attention on doing it.

McVal said...

I"ll be keeping him in my prayers too.
Do you remember the movie Fletch? Didn't he have to go thru a colon exam? From what I understand you just have to sing Blue Moon during the whole thing...

McVal said...

No sorry!!! Moon River!!!

vanilla said...

Hard to make a "witty and spry" comment. Serious subject. Glad it's not cancer, and praying that your brother's health issue is quickly resolved.

DeNae said...

OK, now that we know it isn't cancer, I'm going to send you an email I think you'll enjoy.

Sending a virtual hug your way, GF.

Pricilla said...

I am very happy for your brother, his family and you and the rest of your family.
Cancer sucks.

Bossy Betty said...

So glad it is not cancer. These kinds of scares in life keep things in perspective, don't they?

Ms.Wasteland said...

I'm glad it wasn't cancer. Will be thinking of you and your family.

Eva Gallant said...

Glad it's not cancer. Hope all turns out well.

citymouse said...

Cancer is absolutely the worst thing ever and I can speak about colon cancer for days. My little brother died of colon cancer last year at age 44.

I am truly happy for your brother that he does not have cancer but please encourage him to continue to be aware of what's going on down there. My brother delayed seeking treatment because he too was a private person about stuff like that. A lot of good his modesty did him.

Oh and blue is the ribbon color for colon cancer.

undomestic chica said...

Thank God! I'll pray you get answers and a perfectly healthy brother very very soon.

webb said...

Glad it's not cancer, but good for you to take the opportunity to remind folks to get screened.

Maria said...

Oh JennyMac! Thank goodness that it is not cancer! We have been dealing with my mother in law's chemo and lumpectomy. She is scheduled for radiation in a few weeks for her breast cancer...Thank God for strong families that keep us uplifted as we go through things like this. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

Good post,
Being from Utah, I too am familiar with the story K.P mentioned. I was screened last year. Good news for me. Had a friend who waited until this year and found polyps at age 54. He still needs to go back but so far no cancer. We all know the stories and we should all be aware of the consequences. My prayers for all out there.
Be well Jenny. Bless you.

J.J. in L.A. said...

Prayers being sent from CA! Sooooo glad it's not the dreaded 'C' word.

DaisyGal said...

I am praying with u, so glad that your brother is ok. So glad. Xo

the walking man said...

THIS IS MORE FOR THE GUYS OUT THERE...I have had that camera stuck up my ass 5 maybe 6 times in the past ten years and my lovely doctors finger (she is a beauty) about the same number of times. (I fall in love with her all over again every time)

The colonoscopy does not hurt even if you are an anal virgin, because they put you out for it. You sleep through the whole thing until the nurse is shaking your shoulder telling you to wake up and get dressed and what a cute ass you have.

My grandmother had colon cancer at age 82, it was caught early, she had the surgery and it must have worked because they caught it early, seeing as she lived to 105 years old.

If you are over 50 male or female get the ass camera done. The day before is a hundred time worse than the day of because you drink this shit that empty's you of all the fecal matter you have in you so you're as clean as a new born baby's soul when you go in for the look see.

It is the only time I can say with complete sincerity and honesty that I am not full of shit. So once every 5 years be not full of shit and do it damn it.

Your life is worth more than the sum of your reluctance.

Ed said...

Glad to hear its not the big C.

K A B L O O E Y said...

What a huge relief. My best to your brother and your whole family and good for you for posting this. Also: best of luck to Marie and her family.

KittyCat said...

So happy to hear it wasnt cancer.
My dad never went to the dr.
He is 70.
He had colon cancer 2 years ago.
which was only found because he was in a car accident. and thats how they found it.
He did the whole chemo thing and has been cancer free for over a year.
But
now there is always that worry in the back of your mind that it "might" come back.
I agree early detection is key.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Good wishes to your brother.

Caty said...

I'm really glad it isn't cancer. what a scary feeling for all of your family. I hope they can give him some answers soon!

Melissa B. said...

I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer. And pie. A close friend had Stage 3 breast cancer last year. She is now cancer-free. My Nana used to bake pies for those she called the "afflicted." I've carried on the tradition. Sending positive vibes...and a little prayer...your way.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Great news for your brother!

MommaAmma said...

I'm glad to hear it isn't cancer but any condition involving the colon is extremely aggravating, sometimes painful and usually requires a lifestyle change. I don't think I've ever prayed for a colon but I'll pray for your brothers. :o)

B.o.B. said...

I'll be praying for colons too. Nice reminder about getting those screenings that can save your life.

mikeb302000 said...

Thanks for that very personal post. I agree that cancer is not a good word to hear at any age, but the younger a person is the harder it can be to accept. I wish your brother all the best.

Kristy said...

That is scary stuff. What a relief for you and your family. Hope you get some answers soon.

HalfAsstic.com said...

EE-GAH! I will, fervently, pray for your brother as well! But, SUCH a relief it's not cancer!
So sorry I have been gone from your site for so long. I am trying to catch up!

secret agent woman said...

You know women can get colon cancer, too? I had a friend in grad school die from colon cancer in her 40's. The trouble is, the recommendation for a baseline colonoscopy isn't until 50. And you're right - cancer is a sucky word to hear.

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

I am just now catching up on my fav blogs after being down after surgery. Imagine my surprise on reading this post of yours.

I am not as good a story teller as you but I just posted about my little bout with the 'C' word. Twice this year I have dodged that bullet. I know exactly how your brother feels. Wasn't my colon but the scare of cancer produces the same feelings. I'm so happy he dodged that bullet too, JennyMac.

Salina said...

I Just have to say Good wishes to your brother and really i so happy for you... Now Foods