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Getting awareness out there

denisesheree's picture
denisesheree
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2006

Hi everyone first thank you all for always being there when needed. I am planning on getting the "STAR" logo for colo-rectal cancer tatoo on my lower leg with hopes to make others more aware of this disease. As we know it doesn't yet receive the attention as other diseases which keeps the funding for research down. Not only am i a stage IV i am also a RN and the general public just don't want to talk about this disease,,,,,,,like they don't poop. We have to continue to fight for the cure. My prayers to all
Denise

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Denise -

Good on ya! I wear my CRC Star pin on my uniform ballcap in the back (not really authorized) and I wear my Lance Armstrong band with my uniform as well (DEFINITELY not authorized!) to do just what you're doing. I'll never forget the time an admiral stopped me in the elevator to admonish me about my LiveStrong bracelet; "Commander, why are you wearing that bracelet?" My immediate reply was "Admiral, when was your last colonoscopy?" by the time we got off the elevator, he was going to get a scope and I was "authorized" to keep wearing my yellow band!

Cheers!

SpongeBob

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Bob - I can't imagine you doing anything "unauthorized"! Hey - the more unauthorized the better - I'm putting my yellow bracelet back on and never taking it off.

Betsy

rthornton's picture
rthornton
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005

Although I am not Catholic at all, and have never even been to a mass (but I did go to a large cathedral in Bulgaria last year), I wear a little silver St. Peregrine medal on a black cord. I like the story of St. Peregrine, and every so often someone will ask what it's all about.

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

The level of denial out there is amazing. My coworkers have seen me go through all of this, but when I ask those at age 50 or over if they have ever had a colonoscopy, the usual answer is either a)"No need--it doesn't run in MY family", or b)"I don't want to know."

In the face of PERSONAL denial on that level, how can we dent societal denial? Is it the poop factor? Is it that bowels are involved? Sure, my cancer is genetic and I was dx'd before age 50, but a simple colonoscopy at age 50 is part of the general wellness plan. How is it so different from getting your PAP done or checking for prostate disease? It's a mystery to me!

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

You know, it's funny you should mention your co-workers. I had a good friend whom I worked with from the time I was diagnosed through chemo and into aftercare. Good officer and very smart guy. We often talked about my disease.

The irony is that he was in denial of his colon cancer symptoms even then. I came across his webpage just last night - SeaDetail. Chris' rationalization of his symptoms and lack of early treatment cost him his life.

- SB

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

My GP nor any other doc I had before my cancer even asked if I'd had a scope. I think more docs should mention it during their patient appointments of people over 50. Should be a standard on patient information sheets. I'm not blaming my doc, because the infor is out there, but I might have gone in sooner if he had said something.
Jo Ann

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

I personally think that primary care physicians could do much more in the way of getting patients to have colonoscopies.

Yes, they virtually all recommend it at age 50.

But, that's about all they say, and I am talking about more. Silly as it seems, many people (and I was one) have hangups about this type of test. IF any doctor had EVER told me that I wouldn't even know what hit me when I went for a colonoscopy, I would have done it 5 years prior to diagnosis and would most likely have been Stage 3 if not Stage 1 or 2.

I'm not blaming the docs, but it is very true that no one ever said this to me and if they had, I would have had the test in a minute. Instead, I only had the test when I had a few symptoms.

So, my (former) hang-up, will definitely admit that, but it was a hang-up that could have been SO easily corrected by my primary physician, but never was.
That's my soapbox!

Betsy

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I believe that we all MUST speak up!!! We have a particular beast that is truly preventable...or treatable if CAUGHT early...that's the point, I guess.
I use humor to break the silence when I mention "colon" or "rectum"....seems to warm the room! Especially the mention of the "semi-colons"....In regards to my resection and hyster surgery...."I came with a colon, left with a semi-colon, and lost my period. So are the punctuations of MY life!". This is the description of MY fight with CRC....gets them every time (lol)!

Hugs, Kathi

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

You are right about awareness of CRC, symptoms and early diagnosis. Why can't people understand that by being aware and having your colonoscopy, you can many times prevent colon cancer?? During my treatment I told every friend I had about having a colonoscopy. I gave them their choices: colonoscopy (minimal discomfort if at all); or chemotherapy? My gastrointerologists office was flooded with people. He even called me to tell me that over 50% of his new patients at that time were my referrals. We must tell our story!

I wear my star logo (a pin not tatoo)and my blue colon cancer bracelet that says "Preventable, Treatable, Beatable". I've got plenty, if anyone wants one. (through the Colon Cancer Alliance)

Keep spreading the word..........

Kerry

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

I hope your GI paid you a finder's fee for all those new patients!

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

I did suggest a commission!

Anonymous user (not verified)

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lfondots63's picture
lfondots63
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

I think each of us needs to help raise awareness any time they can. I talk to anyone that wants to ask. I have people ask about my blue bracelet that I wear all the time. I think the problem is that people are worried about the colonoscopy. I don't think that they understand how the actual test is easy. Prep is not fun but like you said look what you can prevent.

Lisa F.

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Hey Denise -

Do you have a calendar at your station/office? This is a great way to get the word out AND support cool educational/outreach programs:

http://www.colondar.com

Food for thought...

- Mr. July 2006

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Bob,

You are right! I bought several "colondars" and gave them to my doctors at MD Anderson and my local oncologist here in Austin. They are placed in the infusion room for folks to read. Have gotten lots of good comments and lots of shock at how young everyone is!

K

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

AWESOME, Kerry!!

That's the idea behind the colondar - shock & awe! Thanks for supporting the Colon Club!

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I got the star tattoo'd on my shoulder, with a butterfly at the base for rebirth and healing! My best friend put the star on her shoulder, my daughters got it on their abdomens. We all went in together, having made arrangements with our artist ahead of time. Getting the tattoos was a great experience, as is now wearing the legend. We will beat this beast!

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