Sunday, April 3, 2011

Preparing for a colonoscopy

Haven't enjoyed the last few days so much 'cos been preparing for a colonoscopy. When my sisters had them, they just had to take the laxative stuff from the late afternoon but trust me to go to a doctor who requires the whole number - no red food for three days before plus no salad, no fruit, no veggies....
Well, had no idea what life was like without eating fruit. Had I not had a diabetes test recently - the whole number, the glucose drinking one which takes hours - would have been convinced I had a sugar craving. Well, am allowed clear apple juice so drank about three little liquifruits a day.

Cannot tell you how much I battled with the eating. I eat salad every day and lots of veggies. I was allowed "well cooked pumpkin" or "well cooked peeled potato" so tried the pumpkin. Usually steam it, or bake it, so that it still has substance; this time steamed it till it was pap (Afrikaans for soft), added some cottage cheese and some white pasta and found it dreadful and the cheese, although low-fat, too rich. Maybe there was too much cheese. So swopped to white bread, which I discovered can be nice and have been eating that with boiled eggs for the last few days. As well as spaghetti with plain low-fat yoghurt thrown over it (instead of cream). Quite like that but miss my pickled cucumbers, mustard, spices.. and essentially the freedom to eat what I want when I want (as much as I do watch what I eat, I know I can eat anything...).
The first day lost a kilogram - no fruit plus couldn't face the supper I had brought with me and was going out straight from work - and now am 0.4kg up from the weight I was when diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. I like feeling thinner but cannot wait till all is ok and I can eat again. And praying all is well with the colonoscopy.
My mom died five days after being diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago - even though they said she was a perfect candidate for an operation and scheduled it for a week later - and two of her siblings died of it too although her brother lived with a colostomy bag for years and was very active, playing tennis and travelling, and both died in their 80s (my mom was 77). 
According to the gastroenterologist I saw, genetic predisposition to colon cancer means you get it by 40 and this was in old age but that I should have a colonoscopy anyway.
My two sisters, both younger than me, had it shortly after my mom died but as I was having chemo and other treatment, it was deemed not necessary (by my oncologist). When I finished all the treatment, herceptin et al, I broached the subject again, and he said "Yes, within six months". That six months ended in February so doing it now.


  1. Oh my, the food part sounds perfectly dreadful! Hope it all goes well.

  2. ja, it was all about eating 'white food' and no roughage... kinda the opposite of what I usually eat.... but now in the process of the major clean out... and found steamed fish (with nothing on it, not a spice or oil or anything) on a slice of white bread for lunch wasn't so bad (there is a specific fixed diet for today). Hope your dad is ok.

  3. Such fun, indeed. You need to celebrate with a large bowl of salad and a side of fruit on the way home from the procedure. Good for you for forcing yourself to follow through with doctor's orders. You will be able to check it off your list for at least five years!