I think waiting is the worst.
Maybe this is one of the downfalls of our healthcare system in Canada, sure it is free, but I wonder how often it is that it is late in providing the service needed since it is so backed up. It’s not that I am thinking about cancer developing while I am waiting for my procedure. While it is plausible that it can happen, I just do not see any good from worrying about that. I am talking about the effects waiting has on your mental health. Some may get through the waiting days by avoiding the conversations about it with your family, friends and loved-ones. Despite how easy it is to ignore talking about it with others, I think it is something you cannot stop thinking about. The only time I do not think about my health is when I am at work, engrossed in my duties. Perhaps it is because I am “forced” to do my duties, whereas trying to engross myself into a hobby is ineffective. I find my mind wandering to my health and what I can do. I have tried watching movies to occupy my mind but there is always that medical office or some health-related scene that gets me thinking about my own health. I don’t know what it is.
Okay, so I have accepted the fact that my mind constantly thinks about it, regardless of my attempts to preoccupy myself; subconsciously my mind is just racing and
fixated. I noticed that I have subconsciously, at least, adjusted some of my eating habits. I am eating more fruits and vegetables and I am drinking kefir. It is a nasty tasting yogurt-like beverage from cultures that promotes gastrointestinal health. I think my mother said it is an “acquired taste,” but that is an understatement. However, low and behold I found they have flavours! I like the strawberry. Be advised it made my stomach gargle and moved my bowel a bit. So think ahead because you never know the effect it will have on you until you drink it. Anyway, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I was told by some friends that my efforts are fruitless, but in all honesty, why not try? What harm can changing your diet to promote gastrointestinal health have on your colon while you are waiting for your surgery? I have posed this question to my friends and they reminded me that “it is a genetic predisposition and there is nothing you can do about it.” Sure, that could be true, but miracles can happen. It is not about clouding myself with false hope that “oh, if I drink kefir, I am going to save my colon,” no, it is my attempt at keeping my mind positive and busy, feeling like I can have some sort of contribution to counteract the genetic predisposition. At least it is fuelling energy towards “doing something about it” instead of the feeling of “waiting for something to happen.” I have done some reading on Gardner Syndrome and there is so much more to be learned about it. Being a rare disease, it only makes sense that there is very little truly known about it.
Is there any way we can prevent it from occurring to other people?
Well, genetic predispositions aside, I read an article that reported the increase of colon cancer among Millenials and Gen X-ers. While it does not state the specific factors, the researchers suggest that “changes in diet, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight and low fiber consumption” could be a factor. Once someone develops the disease in this way, is it then a predisposition for your children? I wonder if lifestyle factors have contributed to my genetic predisposition mutation. Of course, this may be my inadvertent attempt to try to find some sort of answer to the ‘why me?’ question. It never hurts to reevaluate your diet and exercise, a small change could change your life for the better.
My doctor mentioned that we can test embryos for the gene. She said they test the embryo and if it has the gene, they will move it aside and test the next one, until there is one that does not have the genetic predisposition. I am not suggesting that this is something that I believe is good or that I would do, it is merely something the doctor has shared as a procreation option. Naturally, thinking about extinguishing the disease with genetic testing is a hopeful option. After all, why would we want to pass on this terminal disease to our children? But of course the likelihood of extinguishing a disease is a very utopian idea. But I guess we never know.