Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Don't wait

I'm on my way home as I start this blog, but I feel so much from this last week plus, I wanted, no needed, to share.

The primary player in this story isn't diabetes. In fact, diabetes played only a back story role, though it certainly wanted the foreground at points.

Almost two weeks ago, my dad called me. He was in the hospital, and needed some support.  He had been feeling weak and his doctor had run some tests, and his red blood cell count was very low and told him to go to the hospital immediately. He'd been there three days when he called me. I caught the next flight out.

They wanted to do a colonoscopy, but were having trouble getting his bowels emptied. Long story short, he had a number of tests run, and he had a large mass in his colon, and smaller masses in his liver. It's colon cancer, and it's in stage four, and it has spread to his liver. Effectively, it had been restricting his colon more and more over time, causing weight loss, blood loss, and ultimately, loss of strength.

Since then, he has had the large mass removed, and will need to live with a colostomy bag from now on. He will need to start chemo once he is strong enough to withstand it to take care of the liver and anywhere else it may be lurking.

Now, I'm writing this in the airport waiting for my plane, and doing my best to hold together for a little while longer. This week has been an emotional rollercoaster. Dad was so weak when I arrived, and then kept mostly on a clear liquid diet for the next week, that by the time surgery came, I was very worried. I'm grateful my brother showed up that day, tho it did cause me to tuck away my emotions for a while longer, as breaking down in front of family just doesn't happen.

My sugars have been all over the place. Sometimes I can't keep them above 80, and others I can't get them below 200. I had one time I took the normal amount of insulin and I dropped almost three times faster than normal. Stress does funny stuff sometimes. I'm frankly exhausted, but relieved. He came out of surgery well and is in good spirits, if in a bit of pain. I leave him with my brother, who will help him thru healing and deciding on the next steps.

So what is the lesson here?
Dad turned 83 two days ago.
He NEVER had a colonoscopy. EVER.
He is an intelligent man, and he thought he made an intelligent decision. He researched it online after a doctor recently recommended one, and decided it looked like a hassle.

It is a hassle, but now he wishes he had just done it. Especially since the test itself was totally painless, before and after. Sure the prep isn't fun, but life is worth it, isn't it?

Are you over 50?
          Get it done.

Do you have a history of colon cancer in your family?
          Talk to your doctor and get it done as soon as recommended.

Save yourself all of what dad is going through.

Love and peace to all.