Government Bowel Cancer Screening saves us from travel disaster!

Look I was busy OK? So when the screening kit arrived early this year, I lost it then found it then went overseas.

Then one of our friends (about the third with a similar story) had a cancerous polyp discovered and safely disposed of as a result of this screening, and we were back so when I was at the Doc’s I asked him for one of the commercial ones. I figured if I’d paid $35 for it I wasn’t going to let it lapse.

The postman came last Friday with a note from the very clever bowel screening people which explained that my bowel didn’t fit through their screen, and given that this was eight days before we were due to depart once again, visits to doctor and specialist were hastily arranged and undertaken!

Specialist (the man with the big torch, although heaven knows why he’d need one with all the sunlight emanating from my particular bum) did in fact arrange a slot for me for the following Friday, which for those paying attention was today, but looked a little bemused with my plan to fly off on Monday next, suggesting that somewhere over the Indian Ocean was not an ideal place for post operative stuff to go awry.

So Sunday was devoted to moving heavy stuff under the house, and also checking terms of our flights to see just how we could adjust them if necessary. This in turn led to unearthing a note from our travel agent in January advising that our passports were due to expire in March next year, but more importantly that they require six month’s validity from the date of RETURN! Without bowel screening this would not have been pointed out to us until we were turned around at the transit counter in Singapore apparently

Monday. Having failed to find any means of renewing a passport locally in three days (given that Thursday and Friday were now taken over by medical stuff), a trip to the big smoke was suggested…by lunch time we were being duck shoved from the Brisbane GPO to the Passport Office (it’s complicated) and after paying $58 for ninety minutes parking in Brisbane had that more or less sorted.

Tuesday we got notice that the passports were ready for collection, but of course Wednesday was a public holiday, so a quick dash to Bris again had passports in hand before returning to a friend’s house to begin the colonoscopy prep. (Meanwhile a new timber floor installation is happening at home so that’s a no-go zone!)

Today - Colonoscopy is done - the insides are perfectly reflective without blemish, we can walk on the floor in socks, and as soon as this deathly headache from the prep-stuff clears, we can begin to pack, tomorrow we’ll be off.

BUT - statistically about one in one hundred screenings result in a positive test. My specialist says that 70% of those have some small surgical procedure at the time of the colonoscopy, and of those about 4% turn out to be some sort of cancer. He says the screening makes bowel/colon cancer one of the most preventable diseases of its type - and while I’m relieved to have been in the 30% with the “all clear” mark - I’m pretty much a zealot now for all youse blokes to get your botty checks regularly!



I can post a pic for an opinion…

That’s actually uncanny Midge.
I also paid $35 for a screen test and my result came back positive last Friday too!!
What’s the odds of that?

Anyway, I’m not having to zip off to France so I booked myself in to the GP and finally got in to see him today. He also told me the 1 in 100 story that made me feel a LOT better.

I will have a colonoscopy (I’ve been referred) and fortunately we have private cover so I will be able to get it done in weeks rather than the months that I’d be waiting if I had to go public as my doc says that given my lack of any symptoms or family history I would be priority 2 or 3 in the Public system.

I only did the test as it’s been a couple of years since I did one. Hopefully I’m one of the 99%.

last edited by Craig

I do mine when it comes, so far always clear. SWMBO won’ do it- too icky. But she has to have regular colonoscopies for other reasons, so it’s Ok I suppose

@Craig said in Government Bowel Cancer Screening saves us from travel disaster!:

I only did the test as it’s been a couple of years since I did one. Hopefully I’m one of the 99%.

My logic too Craig - glad I did, and even with the few days of “concern” the end result gives a new base line! Good luck - not a fun day, but better than letting it go.

On another note, two speedy passports with parking costs and 800k of driving cost over $1,000.00. Three visits to the specialist, one to the GP, a day in day surgery with a zillion nurses and anaesthetist and so on cost zip - actually $15 for the for prep medication.

Moral of the story? If you can’t afford to travel there are ways of getting Delhi Belly at almost no cost!

Coincidentally, a letter arrived in the snail mail yesterday, advising me that I’ll be receiving the test kit shortly for my second free screening. I guess I’ll have to give a shit again!

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