My Cologuard Mistake

I had a colonoscopy many years ago. It was the single most painful experience of my life. I swore I’d never have another.

Then I turned fifty.

The doctor wanted to schedule a colonoscopy, but I refused. I said I would do the Cologuard test, as it is non-invasive and only metaphorically a pain in the ass. In truth, it was pretty disgusting.

After about a month, I get a call from my doctor. The test came back positive. Now I have to have a colonoscopy anyway. Not only do I have to get a colonoscopy, but now I have to wonder what’s wrong with my colon before I get it. The test isn’t specific. Other than detecting abnormal DNA, it doesn’t really tell you anything. It could be a false result. It could be precancerous cells. It could be cancerous cells. It could be full-blown stage four colon cancer.

If I’d manned up and just gotten the damn colonoscopy, I wouldn’t have to wait and wonder what’s wrong. Maybe I’d have to wait for a biopsy. I’m not really clear on that point. Whichever it is, it extends the amount of time I have to wait for a diagnosis.

One thing I know I have is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’m always waiting for the ax to fall. I’m anxious about driving. I’m anxious that the power will go out during a snowstorm. I’m anxious in the waiting room at the place where I go to talk about my anxiety. Those anxieties are more abstract, though. This particular ax hanging over my head has a sharp edge on it.

Despite the low expectations to which I hold myself, I’m managing to control my anxiety about this. I go for minutes, even hours without thinking about it. I feel like it’s going to be okay — for now.   

2 thoughts on “My Cologuard Mistake

  1. I don’t blame you for avoiding the colonoscopy. I’ve had one once, too, and it was miserable. Here’s hoping that the news is good and it’s something minor and easily dealt with.

    Like

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