Fighting Back Hope

On the importance of staying vigilant against cancer

It wasn’t quite the Tangina Barrons moment I was hoping for.

Remember the scene from the movie Poltergeist, after Tangina (a medium played memorably by the character actress Zelda Rubinstein) and her team have determined they’ve cleared the Freeling home from a passel of ghouls and ghosts? Tangina proudly says, “This house is clean.”

I pulled Tangina’s photo off the interwebs to post on Instagram after my colonoscopy this morning. In case the news was bad, I also pulled a photo from Twin Peaks of the giant lamenting that “it is happening again.”

Turns out neither were really appropriate, thus the photo of said giant imploring that “the owls are not what they seem.” Did anyone ever figure out what he meant by that?

All is well, mind you. Fantastic, actually, as I remain cancer free.

Dr. Sardis Chobanian did remove two polyps, though.

Small and benign, but there.

Only moments earlier, before my propofol nap, the good doctor and I chatted about how I was doing and how long it had been since my first appointment and the life-changing diagnosis.

“Five years,” I said.

“Really? That’s incredible. Congratulations. And all your tests, your health is good?”

“Everything is great,” I said. “I’m looking forward to a clean scope to cap all of this off.”

He said he hoped it would be clean, too. I could wait five years for my next colonoscopy if all went well. Instead, we’re on the three-year plan.

I’m not complaining or being dramatic, but I would be lying to say I’m not disappointed. Polyps are precursors to cancer, which means the disease is still trying to find a foothold to rage back onto the scene. Sarah and I have always known my cancer was aggressive, that the risk of recurrence remains high.

I will always, always have to be vigilant. For my friends reading this who are due or overdue for a colonoscopy, go ahead and get that done. The prep isn’t fun, but knowledge is power.

In the meantime, I’m healthy, I’m alive, I’m cancer-free, I’m loved and I love. I can’t ask for much more than that. Thanks be to God.

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