Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Anything can be Funny

Last week in DC, I gave my NEUROTICA Workshop (No, it's not about writing some hot new brand of erotica! It's not a sex talk. It's a funny talk. Better luck next time!) I firmly believe we can choose to laugh at anything, so I always end that workshop with my colon cancer spiel.

Last year, just before Christmas, most of you know I was diagnosed with colon cancer. My oncologist gave me this little blue awareness ribbon. I was so relieved I was when I saw it was blue. I mean... just imagine what color it might have been...

Anyway, the cancer came as a total surprise to me. I had no symptoms, no family history. But I had an eager beaver physician who convinced me that I deserved a colonoscopy. Far be it from me to turn down something I deserve!

Long story short, I was hustled into surgery where I met this extremely handsome surgeon. No lie, I'd love to have him on the cover of my next book. A couple of my friends asked if I minded that my surgeon was so cute. Not a bit. If I take my clothes off and lay down for a guy, he better be cute.

Anyway, the surgery was successful and because I had that screening colonoscopy, we caught the cancer early enough that it hadn't spread. No chemo, no radiation, thank you, God! If it doesn't return in 5 years, I'll be declared “cured.”

So now everytime I speak, I preach the value of a screening colonoscopy. This cancer is very survival if found early, so fear shouldn't keep anyone away. Embarrassment might, so I want you to think about this.

First they give you really good drugs, so you don't remember a thing.

And lastly, however unpleasant a screening is, it helps to remember there's a doctor on the other end saying to himself, “This is what I wanted to do when I grew up?”

I'm off to my oncologist this morning for a quarterly checkup. I feel terrific, so I'm expecting a green light. Thanks again for all the prayers and well wishes you've sent my way!

'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!'~ Anonymous


Suzette said...

Emily, Hope for green light all the way. My husband at the age of 26 was found to have Colon Cancer. No family history but he was having symptoms of what he thought was just bad cramps and constipation. He had to have surgery and went through chemo...not a good time in our lives but now 10 years later, he is good as gold. We were blessed that he came through everything alive and well. He did the checkups and everything for 5 years and till this day, thank God, he is healthy.

Anyway, to make long story short, SCREEN! Don't be shy, it could save you.

Penny Watson said...

Sending positive vibes your way this morning!

Colleen Thompson said...

LOL about the ribbon color comment!

It was nice seeing you in DC.

Hope that all goes well today!

EmilyBryan said...

Everything's great! My last CT scan was clean and now I just have my next colonoscopy to look forward to in November. Thanks everyone for your well-wishes.

As a little side note, one of the writers in my workshop in DC came up to me afterward. Her husband was a gastroenterologist--guess some people do want to do that when they grow up! And I'm thankful. But she was glad I was spreading the word.

Early detection=CURE!

Nynke said...

Ah, glad you did, indeed, get the green light! And I'll remember, about the screening. I finally got round to doing a self exam on my breats this week - which one should do every month. And I'm going to stick to it, this time round :).

Genella deGrey said...

"If I take my clothes off and lay down for a guy, he better be cute."


High-five, sister!!

mrsshukra said...

So happy to hear the good news, Emily! We have loved ones who had passed away from colon cancer so we know this is serious business. Your spirit is inspiring, thank you!

EmilyBryan said...

etirv--I'm so sorry for your loss.

I know colon cancer is dangerous, which is why I'm trying to make sure no one skips an opportunity to make sure they are safe. If you wait till you have symptoms, it may be too late. Colon cancer has a nasty habit of packing its little bags and traveling to other organs.

So don't duck out of a colonoscopy just because it's a weird procedure. What you don't know can hurt you.

Colleen Thompson said...

Yea, Em! Cheering your green light!

Alaine said...

I'm sure your bright and cheery attitude had added you in a speedy recovery! Glad you're spreading the word!

ibeeeg said...

I am glad that all is well.
Thanks for your post. I am at the age were I should be doing several preventive screenings yet I always have something else that needs being done. Your post has reminded me to make a few appointments...thanks.

EmilyBryan said...

Make those appointments, ibeeg!

Thanks, Suzette for sharing your story too. Thank God we have such great medical care and the ability to fight this. I'm so glad your husband is doing so well!

Liane Spicer said...

Emily, so glad to hear you're doing great. If you can find humor in cancer, you can survive anything. You have the best attitude ever! A very timely reminder to get my screenings (yes, plural, I tend to postpone medical things indefinitely) done.

Thank you for stopping by the Miami Herald blog and leaving a comment. I know the editor thanks you too!

Patricia Barraclough said...

I am so glad they caught it early. I does make all the difference in the world. My husband had a very rare form of bone cancer in his jaw. The survival rates are really poor because there are no symptoms until it reaches the brain at which time it is too late, stage 4. By a stroke of good luck, the dentist noticed a little piece of tissue on the gum that shouldn't have been there and autopsied it. Even he didn't believe the results. At any rate, it was only stage one. Less than 35% make it to 5 years. That was 1991 and he is still going strong. You never know. Treatments have improved so much over the years and are getting better all the time.
Good luck and stay healthy.

Teddyree said...

Woohoo on the all clear Em; that's great news!

I just love the blue ribbon story, are you lucky enough to get a DVD of your colon in all it's technicolour glory, or is that something new and unusual in Australia?? I must admit I laughed receiving mine ~ LMAO (pardon the pun) ~ family viewing at its best!

Carol L. said...

Hi Emily,
I ish you green lights all the way, everyday.
Carol L.

EmilyBryan said...

No, Teddy, they didn't give me a DVD of my colon, but I do remember watching the monitor for a bit and thinking, "Wow! I'm really pretty on the inside."

Of course, that may have been the drugs talking ...

EmilyBryan said...

Liane--Always happy to help a fellow Lolly (That's what we Ladies of Leisure call ourselves! Learn more about Liane and her book Cafe au Lait at her blog)

About my attitude: When I was first diagnosed, I ran across this Mark Twain quote--"Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." I figured that included cancer.

Patricia--Hooray for an observant dentist! Glad your hubby is doing well.

Thank you all for your support and well wishes! I appreciate you very much!

Judith said...

Terrific reminder. And I am very glad everything has turned out well for you so far (knock on wood).