As I’d blogged earlier, I had my first colonoscopy a little over a week ago. It was not an awesome experience. The clear-liquid diet was easy, but the prep?with three different kinds of roto-rooter-strength laxatives?was painful.
I didn’t have IBS symptoms, as I’d feared would be triggered. Instead, it was all about acid burns and irritation. When it’s your turn to do this, be sure to have a lot of petroleum jelly handy. My heart really does go out to babies with diaper rash.
The procedure itself was a breeze. The doctor explained to me that while it was my family history and assumed increased risk of colon cancer that got me in to see him that day, the colonoscopy he performed would be what set my individual baseline to determine what kind of screening schedule I’ll need going forward.
They did find one polyp, 5-mm in size, in the cecum. It was removed and sent to pathology.
Exactly one week later, I was relieved to get a letter in the mail rather than a phone call.
The polyp removed during your colonoscopy was found to be a sessile serrated adenoma. This is a benign (non-cancerous) polyp and has been removed. People who have had this type of polyp have an increase (sic) risk of developing additional polyps and colon cancer.
The recommendation is for another screening colonoscopy in five years. Technically “precancerous,” but still benign at least for now. An “all clear” would have given me a ten-year window.
While this certainly eased my mind, it was also really weird to get that news just twelve hours before I was due to interview a local author who has been battling colon cancer (and its metastatic spread) for the past five years and who now has a terminal diagnosis.
Creative Commons photo: Sessile Serrated Adenoma, Transverse Colon, 0.4 cm by euthman.