Colonscopy. Boy, that word is a conversation starter – or stopper! Drop mention and you will either be regaled with prep stories – or people will give you funny looks and walk away. Basically, be prepared for poop conversation or avoidance.

Men have a reputation for dodging preventive care, and some studies back that up. The truth is, men AND women don’t do what they should to take care of themselves. Whether it’s diet, exercise, doctor visits, dental care (hello, that’s me!) – we don’t do what we can or should to take care of ourselves.

Sometimes, though, something kicks us in the head and makes us realize we need to step up. For me, that was the news about Cappy Katz. My good friend (and amazing human being) Scott wound up in the urgent care, which became a trip to the hospital for intestinal blockage. A scope revealed the big C. 

Scott is battling this thing, and the 1DOS Foundation is behind him 100%. Every time we talk I’m impressed with the way he is handling the process, and not sure that I could be that strong. I don’t mind telling you, I was scared by this. See, colonoscopy checks starting at 50 always gave me an excuse when doc brought it up. Truth is, I didn’t want to do it. Oh sure, the American Cancer Association changed their recommendation to 45, but no, I’ll wait. Only here’s the thing – I turn 49 in April. Scott turned 49 last summer. In a lot of ways, he is me.

So I stopped stalling and my doc wrote a letter to insurance – that’s all it took for full coverage. I made an appointment, and two days after Christmas got it done. Yes, I did all the prep. No, it wasn’t fun. But truthfully, a little discomfort and a long day in exchange for the peace of mind my clean bill of health gave me was more than worth it.

As I waited, there was a young man behind the curtains next to me. He was telling the staff about all his children and his public safety job. His doctor had given him a full checkup after another procedure and handed him the card for the home test. That led to a scope, which discovered a precancerous polyp so large it had to be surgically removed. This was his one year follow up.

Listening to the story, the doc might not have given him the card due to his age. He might not have completed the test and turned it in because, let’s face it, it’s something we avoid discussing or even thinking about.  (Anyone else who’s taken the test home and never did it?  No?  I’m the only one?  Yeah, I don’t buy that…) He did follow through, though, and realistically it saved his life.

What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

So here’s the thing – when we KNOW what we should do and we KNOW how to get it done, why do we not just do it? Why have I taken the test home and not done it? It’s the same thing that keeps us from trying new things, from putting ourselves out there – fear. What if we find out something is wrong? Well, what if? Then we treat it sooner.
What if I fail?
What if I can’t do it?

I like to say, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Usually I’m being a smartass; the point is real though. When faced with a challenge, you can try or not. What IS the worst outcome?

Go get it done. If someone laughs – screw them, they don’t matter. If you fall, get back up. If you need a boost, take my hand and walk with me.

If you are on the correct side of the grass, you can make excuses or you can fight, scratch, claw, and battle until you get what you want, what you desire. I say it all the time, and I’ll keep saying it. Set a goal, then work your ass off until you get there.

Don’t. Ever. Quit.