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Thursday, May 10, 2018

How My Mother Lost Her Life But Saved Mine...

I know I know It May Sound Cliche'
But, if I can save one life then my thoughts of I'm going to write about what? Heck, that's too embarrassing, isn't it.? Well, it ends up I care enough about your life to spill it out. So here goes...
Shortly before she passed. My Mother, Florence, and me.

Mother's Day & My Mother's Birthday
It was a beautiful time of the year in our family. Mom's birthday and Mother's Day always fell on the same week. Sometimes on the same day. What a gift. This year should have been my mom's 85th birthday. She passed at a young 83. She could still be here IF only...

The Hidden Monster Lurked For Ten Years
Short of 2 years before Mom passed there was pain off and on. Left side, intestinal problems. The beautiful Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother of family gathering now barely able to attend. So, what could possibly be going on?

Health Record Clean As A Whistle
Mom's health professionals just thought it was an intestinal virus; after all her health record was clean- shiny white. No high blood pressure, blood counts always great, no health issues ever, watched her weight, ate healthy. They were wrong. 

The Dreaded "C" Word
I'm sure your first thought was cancer, but this time it's colonoscopy. Oh, how we hate the thought of that procedure! And you may think for good reasons, but it saves lives- so listen up. Mom's first colonoscopy was at 82 (recommended age is 50). Diagnosis: Stage IV colon cancer that already invaded her liver, and quickly metastasize to bones. I will never forget the doctor at John Hopkins Hospital who removed mom's colon tumor, "This tumor has been growing for 10 years, and cancer could have been avoided IF she had a colonoscopy years ago". Did you hear that? IF, only mom had not avoided the colonoscopy because her sister had one bad experience with the procedure 40 years before. 

White Coat Syndrome
That's me. Could have my name after those words. Hate needles, blood, even getting my blood pressure taken. For 50 some years I was happy as a lark avoiding the colonoscopy, after all, mom never needed one and was already in her 80's. But, those words haunted me from the doctor at John Hopkins Hospital, "This tumor has been growing for 10 years, and cancer could have been avoided IF she had a colonoscopy years ago". I said to myself, suck it up buttercup and made the appointment for my colonoscopy.

Three Colonoscopies Later
My first colonoscopy was shortly after mom's colon cancer diagnosis. I had 15 polys- all precancerous. IF, they weren't removed there was a chance I would have colon cancer within 3-5 years. Second colonoscopy I had 9 polyps and again all precancerous. My most recent, and third colonoscopy they found 3- two were precancerous. But, there's good news. I don't have to go back for a colonoscopy for 3 years. That is a gift. Music to my ears and heart. I'm okay.

Believe Me When I Say
If my mother had not had her colonoscopy I would have never, ever, had a colonoscopy. My mother had hers too late, but I didn't and it was because of her grave diagnosis I had one, and lived. I will always thank my mother for the gift of life she has given me. Please make that appointment because it really saves lives!

I Have A Secret
Remember me with the white coat syndrome? It end's up the colonoscopy procedure is a breeze. Trust me. Believe me. The day before you prep for the procedure. Drink, poop, drink. Really, it's not as bad as you think. Again, trust me. For the procedure you will be put in a gentle sleep, feel nothing and wake up with usually no discomfort- maybe a little gas. 

If You Have Taken The Time To Read This Post
Thank you. If after reading this post you or someone you know was thinking twice about having a colonoscopy procedure and now will get one- you have made my day, night, year! And if you need a hand to hold because you are too scared, have a story to share, or just need more information about a colonoscopy- message me or leave a comment.


One day after dreadful chemo mom yelled, "Stop the car!" My niece took this picture. Rainbow. Mom. Smiles. Perfect.


  1. Carrie, I decided to stop by your blog and see what it's all about. I'm sorry to hear about your mother. We lost a great friend to colon cancer and she was only 49 years old, with no history of it in her family. Smart move with you having your colonoscopies. Knock on wood, mine have been excellent. But the first time my husband had his, they found one or two precancerous ones; but have gotten great results on his followup ones.

    1. Carol, thank you for leaving this comment. Sorry to hear about your friend, and happy to hear your husband is on track with great results. I wasn't sure about this blog entry- subject- but I really feel my mom saved my life. AND nice to meet you- you have such a lovely blog. I look forward to visiting your posts.