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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Change in Bowel Habits Does Not Equal Embarrassment

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Change in Bowel Habits Does Not Equal Embarrassment

I write today with a heavy heart and soul. My grandmom is right now struggling with life and fighting against a cancer that has literally grown exponentially in her bowels. Yes, she has colon cancer, one of the deadliest cancers out there. I am about to get on a plane to go back to the States, and I hope I can reach her in time. I have left a few things unsaid, plus I hope that there is some hope for her and her continued life. I'm sorry I won't be posting the rest of this week...obviously, right? But, before I leave, I want to absolutely give you the warning signs of possible colon cancer. It's not something ever to be too embarrassing to discuss. I also had my first colonoscopy at 39 years old, and let me tell you....worrying about it was worse than the actual procedure itself. Read on and safe a life....it could be yours or someone you love.

You know how we all like to joke about constipation...especially if it's only occasional, but suddenly, if it become chronic, no one wants to talk about it. If you ever have a change in bathroom habits, in particular, the ones below, PLEASE make an appointment with your doctor and get checked out. Don't let him talk you into doing the virtual colonoscopy...it just doesn't catch everything, and if you're going to go through the whole prep and voiding process anyway, you might as well go for the full monte. Only the bonafide tube up your butt will do the trick. It is painless, both before, during and after, and the worst of the whole procedure was the prep work. As long as you are okay with playing hookie for two days and not straying too far from the toilet, you'll do just fine and work yourself through it. You also have a very new appreciation of all the starving people in the world, as you'll feel like you are one of them. Your period cramps are worse than anything your bowels can throw at you, so don't let pain stand in your way either. It is insignificant. I saw throw at you, because the voiding can be particularly sudden and forceful if you know what I mean. With that being said, watch out for these signs:

  • thin stools. I don't like to be graphic, but Katie Couric's husband, who brought to light...somewhat...colon cancer, complained of spaghetti thin strands of waste
  • severe stomach cramping
  • bloody stool (may also be an indicator of just plain hemorrhoids, but let your doctor determine that)
  • unexplained and sudden weight loss
  • strange feeling of fullness (as the tumor gets bigger)
  • gassy and bloating issues (more so than normal for you)
  • lethargy and tired (anemic due to blood loss)
You should also read some more about colon cancer here. If anyone else has any stories or things to share...about colon cancer or any other kind of cancer, please do post it here as well. Please keep your fingers crossed for my grandmom, and please pray that my husband and kids can hold down the fort by themselves. My 11 year old just had a load of responsibility heaped on him...whether he wanted it or not! His dad still has to run the battalion!

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4 Comments:

Blogger mama bear bugga said...

my prayers go out to you and your family.

August 28, 2008 at 4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there,

My thoughts are with your grandmother & you & your family. Travel safely.

Cx

August 28, 2008 at 5:48 AM  
Blogger liberal army wife said...

I lost my grandmother to this too. I had my colonoscopy - its not fun,but it's not awful either! getting cleaned out is great!

LAW

August 29, 2008 at 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such an important thing to remember, and I hope that your mentioning it leads to people taking the time to get checked. Especially when Tricare insurance is covering the cost, there is no reason not to do it. Thanks for sharing during a difficult time...
Jerry
www.leads4insurance.com

June 26, 2009 at 11:04 PM  

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