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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Get a colonoscopy

    I did my first century yesterday. Self-supported, 100.6 miles, 6:03:12 moving time, 6:38 total time. I did it to commemorate one year from the end of my second series of chemo following a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer. If the cancer comes back this year, as is likely, I get to look forward to a slow, painful death.

    I read a study that shows a strong correlation between physical activity and the lack of recurrance of colon cancer, so I ride long and fast, trying to get stronger either to keep it away or to make it easier when it returns.

    Colon cancer is a useless way to die. It is practically entirely preventable by getting a colonoscopy, which will remove pre-cancerous polyps. Everyone over 50 should get one, which means YOU, which means stop putting it off and get it set up today. It's not the most pleasant procedure, but take it from me, it sure beats surgery (I've had seven, three major and four minor), radiation (20 sessions), and chemo (total of about 14 months in 2 series). Don't think that because you're activity, not overweight, don't smoke, etc. that it can't happen to you. It can. Make August 07 the month you get the test.

  2. #2
    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    I'm pullin for you kerlenbach! I put off the colonoscopy until my doctor finally beat me down. Glad I did! The worst part of it was the prep the day before. I slept through the whole thing so there was nothing unpleasant about it. Cancer can strike anyone, not just someone else. I lost my wife three years ago to cancer and it is one of the reasons I took up cycling. Besides numbing my hands and butt, it numbs my mind (sometimes).

  3. #3
    bobkat
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    Amen, Kerlenbach! Keep on a ridin! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. #4
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Great advice--and best of everything to you.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  5. #5
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Excellent time - congratulations!

    I think I've had about 4 colonoscopies at this point. They found a polyp in the first one when I was 40, so I have remained vigilant and so far, no more polyps.

    Good advice.

  6. #6
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    I'm working on a method that will allow you to hold your butt in front of the monitor so I can examine your innards from my CRT. There are just a few kinks in this technique that need to be worked out.

    Until I get them figured out, get your colonscopy!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Good reminder. Had mine last year.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    Had two done within a 3 year period. Both were negative and I was relieved. I'm happy for you that you have taken the route to stay fit and healthy and overcome that dreadful illness. Congrats on your century ride.

  9. #9
    Semper Fidelis
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    getting one done on friday.
    So won't work thursday, take a 50 mi ride in the morning chug-a-lug the delicious nectar @ noon
    stay close to the bathroom all of thursday afternoon and night get it done on friday ride saturday & sunday.
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  10. #10
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Since they found my cancer, I have to go every year and get checked and every year they find at least 4 polops. The golden years huh.
    George

  11. #11
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Great message, advice and reminder.

    I've had 2 with another needed Sept/Oct this year. I was shocked at the number of polyps I've had removed.

    Here's hoping your riding is continuing to keep stage 4 at bay.

  12. #12
    Life in the Slow Lane Baroque's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this. Family and friends already get their scopes, but I've been putting it off.
    Your words have prompted me to just do it.
    I hope that all the energy you are putting into cycling will translate into curative positive energy, and keep you strong & healthy. Best wishes! We're pulling for you.
    Remember, wherever you go, there you are.
    - Buckaroo Banzai

  13. #13
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    +1! Great personal message. Just had mine last month so I am good for another five years.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  14. #14
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Since they found my cancer, I have to go every year and get checked and every year they find at least 4 polops. The golden years huh.
    Every year I thought my 3 year schedule was bad.
    =============================================================
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    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerlenbach@cfl. View Post
    I did my first century yesterday. Self-supported, 100.6 miles, 6:03:12 moving time, 6:38 total time. I did it to commemorate one year from the end of my second series of chemo following a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer. If the cancer comes back this year, as is likely, I get to look forward to a slow, painful death.

    I read a study that shows a strong correlation between physical activity and the lack of recurrance of colon cancer, so I ride long and fast, trying to get stronger either to keep it away or to make it easier when it returns.

    .

    Congratulations on the century. Great times!

    You're very lucky to have survived the colon cancer and I hope your riding keeps it at bay.
    =============================================================
    My cancer updates:
    https://www.mylifeline.org/beverlyow...=myupdates.cfm

    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
    -- Antonio Smith

  16. #16
    Semper Fidelis
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Since they found my cancer, I have to go every year and get checked and every year they find at least 4 polops. The golden years huh.

    golden years jeez seem more like problamatic years
    but everyday is still a great day
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  17. #17
    Senior Curmudgeon Halfast's Avatar
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    Like a fool I waited until this year (I am 63) to do my first one. Yes, three polops, and large. No cancer, but I got them just in time. Now I gotta go back in a couple of years for another. Just go do it folks!! It ain't that bad, and a whole lot better than having colon cancer.

    And yes, Old Age Sucks
    "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

  18. #18
    Yen
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    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your riding success and beating the return of cancer thus far. I wish you all the best and a complete recovery.

    And thank you for another reminder. I've been seriously considering it the past 2 weeks, and your post is the second one I've seen. I will call and make the appointment.
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
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  19. #19
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    Just to add my 2 cents. My wife pushed and pleaded with me to have the procedure done and I just absolutely dreaded it but finally gave in after running out of excuses and scheduled an appointment. After doing it I wondered what the big deal was. I would rather do that than go to the dentist. My experience was as follows:
    Drank the stuff that tasted like water. Was told it was terrible tasting. It wasn't. Watched TV while the stuff worked and had to get up a lot more. It was like channel surfing without a remote. Went to the hospital in the AM they put me under and woke up with the procedure complete. Went to restaurant to eat. Wife drove. Did some shopping in the afternoon. Went out for a nice evening meal. Went home and slept very well knowing I am healthy, at least in that department.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    My wife pushed and pleaded with me to have the procedure done and I just absolutely dreaded it but finally gave in after running out of excuses and scheduled an appointment. After doing it I wondered what the big deal was.
    Had I done that five years ago, I wouldn't be looking death in the eye today.

  21. #21
    Yen
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    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerlenbach@cfl. View Post
    Had I done that five years ago, I wouldn't be looking death in the eye today.
    Were you completey surprised, or did you have symptoms?
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    There are about ten symptoms of colon cancer - I had seven of them before being diagnosed. I knew I was sick, but I was too young to have colon cancer (47) so I figured it must have been irritable bowel or colitis or someting like that. I was not overweight (well, I was overweight by BMI standards, but not overly so), I did not smoke or drink, there is almost no cancer in my family, and my diet was typical but not terrible. I had not been to the doctor in years because I was healthy. When the blood bank stopped taking my blood because I was anemic and I constantly felt like crap, I went to the doctor. The gastroenterologist told me my polyp was there for probably three years. Thinking back, I can idenitfy my first symptom (a change in bowel habits) occurring about 10 months before diagnosis. By the time of diagnosis (Sept 11, 2003, ironically enough), the cancer was in the lymph nodes (stage 3). It ultimately spread to my liver, resulting in another major surgery last year, and more debilitating chemo.

    Prevention is the key.

  23. #23
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Just a little word about the Big "C". Medical research has moved on greatly in the last 5 years and if a complete Cure is not possible- Then the treatments around are very effective at reducing the effects of the ailment or at worst keeping them at bay for extended periods of time.

    I am saying the last 5 years as That is the period I have been watching for anything that mentions Cancer since having Prostate Cancer in 2001. I can say now that I was lucky in that I was caught in time so if you have any form of cancer check that should be done due to age or Hereditary reasons- Do not delay. And I have just gone through my first anniversary of being declared clear of PCa after 5 years of wondering.

    And Joy of Joys- I now have 3 saddles on 3 different bikes that the Surgery is no longer affecting the comfort of. Took 5 years for that to happen but it is now worth it.


    Edit- Posted this at the same time as Kerlenbach so is not meant as a reaction to his post.

    Kerlenbach-- Hope that you will have the same end result as I have had.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  24. #24
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    If your insurance is hesitant to cover it, it is worth the cost. However, if you ever see blood when you wipe, be sure to tell your doctor... it seems that a non-prompted mention of blood in the stools can sometimes be enough of a warning sign to authorize a colonoscopy, and cause the insurance companies to pay that won't routinely cover them.

    I've never been so happy to have mild hemmoroids (sp) in my life!

    Other than hemoroids and mild divitriculosis I am fine... And the preparation is the worst part, and it wasn't too bad... and by the time I need my next one in 9 or 10 years, they may be virtual.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  25. #25
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    A timely post. My appointment for my first is this Thursday. Hopefully I don't pig out after, I'm hoping to lose a few pounds from the procedure.
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