Category Archives: Today

My Colonoscopy Adventure

“The lab test indicates there may be a problem in your colon,” my

Colon image from WebMD
Colon
image from WebMD

GP, Dr. Chou, told me in December, 2014. “I’m going to refer you for a colonoscopy.” Upon hearing these words, I realized Linda and I might soon be treading on an uncertain, even treacherous path. My Dad had endured intense pain at the end of his battle with cancer.

Linda’s online research didn’t reassure. Knowing she was already anxious, I said nothing about the symptoms I was experiencing. Dr. Chou told me these could be caused by other factors. “Polyps will do that,” he said. “No worries.”

Dr Jangra, a General Surgeon had an opening on January 20. To educate myself I picked up a copy of “The End of Diabetes.” It deals with a variety of serious health issues, including cancer. The author, Dr. Joel Fuhman takes a nutritional approach.

Not a fun read, it nixed virtually every culinary delight known to my palette. “Refined carbohydrates from processed foods and animal protein are at the core of our cancer and diabetes epidemic,” Dr. Fuhman says . Then, becoming quite specific, he states “white flour and sugar contribute to cancer.” Mentally I listed the forbidden foods, Linda’s white buns, hamburgers and fries, milk shakes, pizza, pancakes, etc. All foods I enjoy.

He does very generously permit greens and beans. “The increased fibre from these,” he says, “lowers glucose levels, increases bowel regularity, and protects against colon cancer development.” Reading this I briefly ceased grumbling. Couldn’t keep that up long.

indexI reluctantly shared this with Linda and she began hanging out around the bean bins at Cooper’s in Princeton. Beans and greens

Beans Wikipedia photo
Beans
Wikipedia photo

became staples in our home. Surprisingly, I enjoyed both. On the advice of Dr. Fuhman, we also began eating more nuts and seeds. I grudgingly pretty much eliminated dairy products. No ice cream or yogurt, or even milk with my morning bowl of oatmeal. Not a trace of compassion in the recommendations. In two months I lost 10 pounds.

Not wanting to be told I wasn’t ready, I began the colon cleansing process one day early (Sunday). Fruit in the morning, Linda’s broccoli soup at lunch, then only clear juice and broth. Juice and broth again on Monday. Nothing after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

At 2:30 pm Tuesday, I reported to the hospital and was directed to the waiting area. Although the outcome of the procedure concerned me, food was a more immediate interest. I dozed off for about a minute and dreamed I saw two hands place a platter of thick steaming pancakes in front of me. Quite a disappointment when I awoke before I could pour Lumber Jack syrup on them and indulge.

An hour later I was taken to a small enclosure. “Take off all your clothes and put on this gown with the opening to the back,” a nurse instructed. “Keep your socks on.” I wondered if they feared I’d get cold feet about this and attempt an escape.

My thoughts went back to Dr. Jangra’s statement that 9 out of 10 colonoscopy’s reveal no sign of cancer. I mentally counted the number of individuals I knew who had experienced the procedure without evidence of cancer. There had been at least 9. Would I be the unlucky #10?

Finally my cot was wheeled to the room where the procedure would

Dr. Jangra
Dr. Jangra

be performed. Dr. Jangra was waiting, and two nurses stood ready to send me to an unconscious state. I quickly said, “I’m hoping the doctor will permit me to take a couple of pictures for my blog and newspaper column.” He stood up and willingly posed. Then I was “out like a light”.

On January 28 I was back in Dr. Jangra’s office. “No cancer or polyps,” he said, seemingly happy to deliver positive news.

Two Smiling Nurses
Two Smiling Nurses

He knew I’d be writing about the experience and offered a little counsel. “One in 13 Canadian men will be diagnosed with colon cancer. Early detection is important.” He paused, then said, “Get lots of fibre in the diet. Also, go to screeningbc.ca for more information.”

Later that evening Linda surprised me with a photo of myself on the IMG_0870cot, still under the influence of the anaesthetic. Not a flattering shot but she insisted we post it on the blog. With the utmost reluctance I agreed.

Thank you Dr. Chou and Dr. Jangra, and the two nurses, for a very positive colonoscopy adventure.

Two Senior Boys On Motorcycles

When Linda and I pulled into the parking lot at Manning Park this past Monday morning, my attention was immediately drawn to a couple of motorcycles. The riders were chatting with a third individual, obviously also a bike enthusiast.

The two bikes interested me in part because they gleamed, as though they had just been taken out of a showroom. Of greater interest was that one had two wheels in front, something I don’t

3 Wheel Harley
3 Wheel Harley

recall seeing previously. The other was a Harley with two wheels in the rear.

While I was looking with great fascination and admiration at the first one, the owner came over and we talked a few minutes.

Bob told me the bike was made by Bombardier, with some custom

Art With Bob & His Bombardier
Art With Bob & His Bombardier

items. “The Bombardier suspension system gives it great stability,” he said, “I like the three wheel design. My left hip doesn’t have the strength anymore to support a two wheel bike.” He obviously felt pride in the machine’s performance capacity, but he gave no indication of wanting to boast.

“It’s obviously in great shape,” I observed. “Is it be pretty new?”

“I bought it three months ago,” he answered.

I have no inner compulsion to own such a bike but I did have a need to know what an impressive machine like this would cost. “About $30,000” he said with just the slightest reticence. Maybe a few people have expressed surprise he paid that much for a bike. A decent car can be bought for that kind of money. I wasn’t surprised though. It is a very special bike.

I was now permitting my curiosity free reign. “Does this fall into the category of what we call a mid-life crises?” I asked.

He smiled a little and said, “It’s probably more of a senior mid-life crises.” I had noticed that his neatly trimmed beard did appear to be greying somewhat.

They were from Chilliwack on their way to Princeton on a day ride. Just two senior boys who apparently had been financially prudent when they were younger. They’d had the smarts to set aside something so that now they were able to afford this expensive item on their bucket list. It’s pretty awesome that they have the health and also the chutzpah to do what a lot of us just dream about.

Bob, for me seeing those two intriguing motorcycles and talking with you certainly made it a memorable encounter. In retrospect, I realize now I should have asked a few more questions. But maybe there is enough here so the example of you and your friend will inspire some of us to risk more and live our dreams.