Cologuard: Better than the alternative

I’m angrier than a cockatoo without a peanut because I didn’t do this sooner.  I speak specifically of getting screened for colon cancer, something I should have done when I turned 45, but didn’t do until last week.  Well, it started a month ago when I tried to get a colonoscopy.  In order to do so, one must flush one’s waste out of one’s body.

I tried it the traditional way, but despite following the instructions to the letter, they were unable to move forward because there was still an obstruction.

So, rather than go through prepping and getting a camera shoved up my butt again, I asked my doctor about Cologuard, a non-invasive way of screening for colon cancer.  And boy, howdy, am I glad I did it.  From beginning to, no pun intended, end, the process went better than expected.

First, they ran it through my insurance, which covered the cost 100%.  I was told it would take three to five business days to get to me, but the box was here the next day, on a Friday.  Because it was the Memorial Day holiday weekend, I didn’t go to a UPS Store and return the box until Tuesday morning.

Now, for the nasty part.  The process is simple (this video shows what happens) but gross.  I opened the kit and was given easy-to-follow instructions.  Basically, I had to poop in a small container and then stick a swap down into the feces.  I then sealed both the tube and the poop container and stuck labels on with my information and the time the sample was taken.  I wrapped it all  up in a blue zip bag and boxed it all up.

I chose to give the specimen on Monday as they allow for sending the item within 24 hours.  The next morning, I dropped it off at the UPS Store right down the road from my residence, free of charge and they took it from there.

It, too, was overnight, so the lab got it on Wednesday.  I was able to create an online portal account that kept me informed of the progress step by step.  When I got the email that informed me that my results were ready, it was Saturday.  So, it took them only three days, whereas the time frame that they have was two weeks.

Everything was ahead of schedule and went faster than I was promised, which is quite impressive indeed.

After dropping it off, it became a waiting game, a game I nervously awaited the results for.  After all, if the test comes back positive, then I have to do another colonoscopy and confirm or debunk the result.  I have not shown any of the symptoms that would indicate colon cancer, and I don’t have a family history of the potentially fatal cancer, so I wasn’t too nervous.

It was kind of like waiting on the results of STI tests after stupidly hooking up with a much younger woman (relax, perverts, she’d just turned 17 and I was 22!  The age of consent in Ohio is 16.  So chill.) I’d just met at a nightclub (she got in with a fake ID, so I hope she really had just turned 17!), all without protection.  Not one of my smartest moves in life.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  That’s how I handled that and that’s how I handled my Cologuard results.  The STI tests all came back negative and, more to the point, so did the Cologuard results.  As for the nightclub incident, I took a chance on her and she took a chance on me, and we both walked away with a memorable experience and no health issues.  But the point is that it was a very scary period waiting for those results,  just like it was scary here.

Had the results come back positive, all sorts of bad things would have happened. Depending on how far along it was, I could have gotten chemotherapy, or I could have been on a colostomy bag for the rest of my life, forced to poop in a bag.  If that’d been the case, I would have probably offed myself, because I would not go through the rest of my life wearing one of those nasty things.

All in all, it was a speedy and easy experience, much preferable than the traditional way.  If you want to get screened for colon cancer, I highly recommend this product.

(This not a paid endorsement, but an unpaid review based upon my personal experience with the product.)