As the pharmacist pushed the 12” x 4” inch box across the counter, fear created searing heat that flushed my face. Seeing the apprehension in my eyes, the man in his pure white lab coat seemed sympathetic as he nudged the box a little closer. Then he giggled, “Better you than me.”

All my life, I’ve been diligent about my doctor’s appointments. I’ve been poked, prodded, scanned, pricked, and squashed. I’d gone through every possible medical investigation except one – a colonoscopy.

It wasn’t that I feared the bright lights of the surgi-center operating room, or the fact that some cute doctor would be peering at my backside. It was that junk you had to drink the night before and the literal bomb it would detonate.  But the news of a friend’s husband’s recent experience cast my silly vanity-driven fears into a new light.

The year before following doctor’s orders, he went in for the routine scoping and came out with the discovery of cancer in his bowels.

“Oh my God!” I cried when she told me. “He’s younger than I am.”

 “He’s going to be fine, but it was scary,” Sheri said. “Let’s make a pact. I’ll do mine if you do yours.”

Two weeks later, I made my appointment at the Palo Medical Group.  But being the weenie I am, I scheduled the procedure for a month away so I’d have sufficient time to mentally prepare. Before I knew it, the day arrived to drink the junk.

“I can’t believe I’m finally doing this,” I thought as I plugged my nose for the first of four doses in one hour. I mixed in a little lemon Crystal Light and downed it quickly. I let go of my gripped fingers to find the after taste wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Nor were the next three scheduled gulps.

I sat back to watch the latest episode of “Glee” and prepared myself for the predicted blast. I waited and waited for the next three hours.

“Maybe there’s nothing inside,” I thought, but as soon as the thought crossed my mind that all too familiar rumbling in my gut began to gurgle. What happened next was rather anti-climatic. This is not to say my bathroom and I didn’t become the best of friends for next hour, but there was no pain. Just a visit here and a visit there.

 “I got through that part easy enough,” I thought. “But I’m sure the main event will be one I’ll dreadfully remember always.” 

Upon arrival at the facility, I was met by friendly nurses who giggled at my questionable sense of humor. I was then introduced to my kind doctor, David Nano, who promised he’d take good care of me. It was a promise he kept.

 With a little “happy juice,” I never felt a thing and woke a half hour later to fabulous news, “Jackie, there are no signs of cancer or polyps anywhere. You’re good to go.”

All the angst I suffered for years was for naught. The preparation for the main event was well worth the price of admission just to hear those words, “You’re cancer free!”

From this point on, I’ll never take any aspect of my health for granted again no matter what I have to do to find out the results. If the news is good. Yippee. If not, then I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

 As the old saying goes, “when you have your health, you have everything.” I’m a wealthy woman.