Monday, December 1, 2008

A Portrait of Self-Care

In March of 2002 my mother died of colon cancer.

She was 61 years old.

I was, and still am living with a broken heart.

A routine colonoscopy at 50 would have saved her life.

She didn't get one until it was too late.

Life in it's beauty and mystery has moved forward.

And though I miss my living mother sorely, her beauty is ingrained in me and she is never far from my heart and mind.

I really love the life I live!

And I want to keep living and loving for as long as I can.

So, I had a colonoscopy when I turned 39.

It was yucky.

And I did it!

Now, five years later, at my doctors recommendation, I scheduled another colonoscopy.

It was today.

That last picture didn't really capture how triggering, uncomfortable, disgusting, scary and messy the proceedure is for me, so I'll try and capture it again.

There. That's more like it.

Ak! Now I'm worried that this post will keep you from taking care of your self!

Can I say that these photos don't convey a timetable? The above experience is very short lived. What lasts much longer is the feeling of joy and confidence in living!

Please encourage those you love to get a colonocopy if they are over 50, or earlier if they have any family history.

If you need any further encouragement, go to someone you love and hold them. Imagine holding them and loving them for many, many years to come!

Thank you Bill and Annie for holding my hands, rubbing my feet and going with me today. I love our life together!


Anonymous said...

The last photo is reason enough to go through that experience. It (colon cancer) is supposed to be the slowest of all cancers and being that, if one does do as the medical fraternity suggests, it is conquerable.
Love you for doing it.

Anonymous said...

i am so glad for your post and to see the last picture, which is now one of my favorties of you two.
big hug

Krista said...

Oh, I am thrilled for you and your proactive stance to support your health and wellness! And thrilled for Annie that she has a mama who takes care of herself this way. What a model you provide for her. So strong and wise and brave.

Todd is on a wait list to have this procedure done as he turned 40 this year and his dad died of bowel cancer a few years ago in his early 60's. Fortunately, we eat and take care of ourselves so much better in this generation and in this culture (they're from New Zealand and his family eats a ton of fried foods, white bread and alcohol and very little fiber or live food). So the chances for Todd are much better of avoiding this, I hope anyway!

Cheers to you and your family, and I'd love you to come see me at my new blog. It's nice to be back!


Krista said...

Whoops, and then I linked to my old blog... trying again...

Cher Mere said...

You are a loving person. That was a GREAT post. Wonderful. I am glad you are taking care of yourself.

Cher Mere said...

You are a loving person. That was a GREAT post. Wonderful. I am glad you are taking care of yourself.

beadbabe49 said...

Good for you! My mom is going to be 88 this year and she had colon cancer in her 70's but a colonoscopy caught it before it had spread and it saved her life. You can bet I have mine every 5 years too...not fun, but oh so much better than the alternative!
(I hope you're doing regular mammograms too? My mammogram in 2003 caught a cancer that was too tiny to even begin to feel via breast exam and I'm still here because of that (also uncomfortable) test.)

Gwenivere said...

That was such a beautiful post. I am still crying. Thank you for reminding us all of the importance of caring for ourselves.

8)(8 said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and the reminders. Beautiful photos.

patrice said...

I am warmed and encouraged by these wonderful comments. Thank you all. Although I don't always find my voice to comment very often on your blog, I do read and participate in your lives through your writings and photos. Please know that each one of you contribute to my sense of community, and of being held in this big old world! (Sound effect-"Big contented ahhh!")

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Patrice, It was yucky and you did it anyway!!Bravo That is the definition of courage.

Ulla said...

OH Sweetie... I feel with you! Those first photos of you are magnificent! If a day of torture keeps you alive, then I guess its worth it!
Hugs to you and Annie!

tanrzmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tanrzmom said...

I miss her too. I keep the picture she painted on the wall in my room so I can always remember her. It has been suggested that I too get a colonoscopy and I have been putting it off. I guess that I will need to suck it up and make the appointment. I miss you Annie and Bill lots.