Too close to home

Recently we all had a little scare here at Apex.  Thankfully all turned out good, but I felt it was important to write about a topic a lot of people aren’t comfortable discussing: COLON CANCER and EARLY DETECTION SCREENING.

It was about a month or so before the International Revolver Championship match I noticed I wasn’t feeling right.  Monday following the event I called my doctor due to signs/symptoms progressing – I just thought it was stress from working too much.  After discussing my situation and given the significant family history of colon cancer, I was immediately schedule for a colonoscopy.  It seemed there was a high probability according to stats that say ‘it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN’ I would develop Colon CA.  I’m thinking I’m ONLY 41 years old and here is reality in my face.

I work with two really great, wonderful guys; and given that they both have a devastating sense of humor – I knew I would end up being the “Butt” of Randy & Scott’s jokes.  Humor and laughter is therapeutic and they are the ones with the PhD’s in this field.  Comments such as “Oh Lisa, don’t be so full of sh**”, and “life is just squirting by”, with “you’ll enjoy studying Mars and Uranus”…and my personal favorite, “if you feel flushed for over 4 hours, consult a plumber immediately”.  People do what’s necessary to get themselves through certain stressful times in life.  To me this was one of them, and they helped me keep my sense of humor and realistic view.

All the comedy paled in comparison to the actual name of the solution I had to take the night before the colonoscopy.  It’s called Movi-Prep…NO popcorn included!  I guess I didn’t have it so bad, others told me of another solution called “Go Lightly”…are you kidding me?  Who in the world makes this stuff up?!

I decided to approach my circumstance same way some competitors might with any major shooting match:

  • Registration (Schedule Dr. appt)
  • Shooter’s meeting (Consult before the procedure)
  • Review the stage design and prepare equipment (no details necessary as you get the bottom line, sorry bad pun)
  • Game time (know exactly which direction the barrel is pointed)
  • 1hr arbitration (some enjoy an ‘adult beverage’ & food after the completing their match – I was drunk on anesthesia, STARVING and had a designated driver)
  • Results posted
  • Plan to attend this match again

I’m disclosing this info because if I can get one individual to read this and go in for an early screening it’s worth it to me.  The entire process was not as bad I thought it would be – including the taste of the solution (just wish they’d change the stupid name).

Forget the embarrassment, time inconvenience or the thought of “I’m too young for this”.  Colon cancer is very treatable when detected early; this can increase your quality of life….which means to me LOTS MORE time on the range!

I had no penalties, no no-shoots, or DQ.  The results showed I won.  I’m scheduled to attend this “match” every 5 yrs for rest of my life…and I plan to win every time.  If at some point I don’t, at least I have a better chance to do something about it.

squibby / June 23, 2011 / Random Apex


  1. ArmsVault - June 23, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    I’m glad to hear that your results turned out good! And I think it is great that you are using this to help create awareness. The fact that you are thinking about others during YOUR stressful time says alot about you!

  2. Micah Schmidt - June 23, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    I’m glad to hear your results were good. Colon cancer is no joke… My Grandmother died from it (after it spread to her lungs) and just over a year ago my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.

    After having 1/3 of his colon removed (We joke that now it’s a “semi-colon” 😉 and 6 months of chemotherapy, he was finally given a clean bill of health. But, as you mentioned, there is a family history of the disease. So my regular colonoscopies are scheduled to start at 40 (next year for me) instead of the normally recommended 50.

  3. mcooley - June 23, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    Beautifully said Lisa! What a great combination of humor and realism. I love the analogy! Im proud of you for facing life and kicking its ass! Keep up the good work!

  4. Mat - June 23, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    Gratz on your win and keep kickin butt!

  5. Clint Hughes - June 23, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    Thank GOD everything worked out great. I’m so happy for you. You are way too good a person to leave us. It seems as though you attacked this head on and had a great battle plan ahead of time. Go Lisa Go!!!!!!!!!!!.Clint

  6. Dave Barnett - June 23, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    Hi Lisa

    I KNOW just what you have gone through. over 20yrs ago I was having trouble , I went to a respected Gastro Enterologist.
    And I also had history of colon cancer in my family. This DR scared the heck out of me he really did. He scheduled the procedure (lower GI ) quickly , anyway I was on the table and all pumped up AND this surgeon says to me” excuse me what r u here for” I said don’t you know , he says no because I am looking right at your colon and it looks as good as the day u were born .. Best he says he’;s ever seen at my age.. Anyway I still quite a bit later have had no problems.. But yes its good to be sure..
    I am very glad for you I KNOW how u feel..
    Dave Barnett

  7. Tom - June 25, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

    Very important subject that is taboo in our culture. We need to get over it…Good of you to bring it up!

    One comment, it is vital that folks follow the instructions when drinking the prep “Go Lightly”. Must drink water with it to avoid catastrophic kidney damage. The prep is so unpleasant and hard to hold down that some people are tempted to just drink the “Go Lightly” and stop. The nasty “Go Lightly” may makes them feel sick to their stomach so they ignore the instructions and don’t drink the required water. Really would be smart to drink a bit extra water to protect themselves and if they can’t keep it down, then sip the water to make sure they get at least the recommended water.

  8. Brian Yee - July 9, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    I’m happy to hear that all went well with your results.
    For me, the procedure wasn’t HALF as bad as that EVIL Movi-Prep. Absolutely, uh…amazing stuff, you think??! I definitely found it a most MOVING experience, leaving me TOTALLY prepped.
    On a more serious note, kudos to you for the candid push for awareness and early detection. Wishing you a lifetime of squeaky clean results. Take care.

    Brian Yee

  9. Chad - September 8, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Glad to hear everything worked out for you.

    Yes the prep sucks…

    I was diagnosed in 2007, stage 3, at age 42. Spent most of 2007 undergoing two separate chemo treatments, 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments, and a rather interesting surgery.

    Colonoscopy’s are not that big of a deal.

    Because of my cancer, my brother had a screening done. They discovered a couple of polyps’ that his doctor felt left unattended, would have developed into tumors in time.

    Annual physicals should be done annually. Don’t be stubborn, get your physical.

  10. John - September 29, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Good on ya, Lisa.
    Colonoscopy is not a big deal. Cancer is the big deal.
    Grandfather died from it. Father dodged it (polyps removed when he was 40. Due for my second colonoscopy next year. Having been a witness to the agony gives you a different attitude.

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