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Dear Abby

suzannchili's picture
Posts: 135
Joined: Mar 2003

To my knowledge we don't have an Abby, but just in case....

Dear Abby,

I have been working at the same middle school for over 8 years with over 125 fabulous faculty and staff members. Almost 6 years ago, I was diagnosed at age 29 with stage 3 colon cancer and everyone I worked with rallied around and suppoted both me and my family. I am very thankful and appreciative, so you must wonder what on earth am I writing to you for.

Well, my official job title is "Instructional Specialist", but lately I feel like a high paid "bathroom monitor." I am privy to everyone's bowel movement schedule, bouts of diarrhea, and constipation problems. I constantly dole out advice regarding high fiber diets, prune juice, and bananas as well as sugesting a colonoscopy every now and then. I have even been asked to look at someone's after lunh deposit to see if I thought anything looked abnormal. I'm done. Please, help me come up with a better response than "I don't give a sh**!" I am always happy to help, but enough is enough. Please advise.

Pooped w/ this problem

PS- please realize that if ever a case was seriously diagnosed I would do all I could to help, I just thought this would make you all laugh, and laughing is good

suzannchili's picture
Posts: 135
Joined: Mar 2003

All events are factual but names have been changed to protect the innocent

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

This was tooooo funny. Thanks for the laugh. (Please tell me no-one I work with is really going to ask me to inspect their poop!!! That thought is worse to me than undertaking chemo!!!)

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

First of all, congratulations on 6 years NED! You are an inspiration!
I would not be surprised if the middle school students asked you questions about poop, but the teachers/grown ups? Well, actually, I guess poop comes up quite a bit, even in our "adult" conversations.

If you really want them to stop asking you about your "condition", etc. I think the only way is to stop talking about it. I work in a position where I usually have a new "parter"/intern under me each year. In the recent years (I was diagnosed in 2001), I have just quit telling them about it. They may know anyway, because people at work talk of course, but they don't ask me and I don't discuss it with them. I guess all of the other long-timers at work just figure I am "cured". I am not sure, but they FINALLY quit asking me "How are you feeling" at some point. They could never understand that I could have cancer and not feel bad. I always told them the only thing that ever made me feel bad was the chemo. Even my family members continued to ask "How are you feeling?" and it freaking drove me crazy! Not that I do not appreciate well wishers.....
Anyway, I know where you are coming from, but actually being asked to take a look at someones crap..that is too much!
Well, take it easy and thanks for the funny story.

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Hmmm, have you considered a career change. Reading palms ,reading tea leaves, let Madame Chili tell your future by checking your recent past. Like I saw on a plumbers van "It may be ##it to you ,but it is money to me". Cheers Ron.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


Just read your post. I can't belive that anyone would ask someone to inspect their poop.

My husband is the patient but I try to encourage everyone our age (over 50) to have a colonscopy and maybe look at purchasing cancer insurance. However, I think your co-workers have taken things a little too far.

Since you are an "Instructional Specialist", perhaps you should be the next in-service speaker and discuss manners in the workplace.

The next time you are asked to "take a look" refer them to their doctor. Anyone willing and eager to show poop to a coworker should be seen by a doctor (and not just for a colonscopy).

Posts: 297
Joined: Apr 2004

Hellp Susann!
I am a middle school teacher also. Because of my colon cancer diagnosis, I have become the fart expert in my building (chemo farts are loud and scary). Another ramification of my illness was how my illness motivated many staff members to get their colons scoped. I have never been asked to check out anything in the pot. Yuck! Terri

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