Full Disclosure: this post contains some material that may be considered by some to be a pain in the butt, but is truly a shitty subject that needs full exposure, even though it required me to chase a bunch of young women running away from me in their underwear while I took pictures of their “backsides.”
Thankfully, it was for a good cause, and no, these weren’t the type of women that Rush Limbaugh uses to describe healthy, wellness-minded females.
And, just to prove I am fair and balanced, I even took pictures of men in similar garb. And even some dogs.
The month of March marks National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
(There went half my readers.)
But, what got me to don my running clothes early yesterday morning was, initially, not my support of voluntarily succumbing to an explosive rectal evacuation followed by getting a camera-tipped long hose with pinchers stuck up my derrière.
(And there went the other half.)
No, it was an article earlier in the week I found in our local morning newspaper, which announced an event called the Undy 5000, where people would race in their underwear.
I guess in my early morning mental fog, I misread it as Indy race and somehow connected an Indy event, with a story about people racing in their underwear, and some male fantasy involving Danica Patrick.
“No dear, I am not thinking about Danica Patrick mostly naked [again]. I am just reporting what might be some other guy’s fantasies.”
So, I signed up online and showed up early yesterday, along with over 550 people for Sacramento’s first foray with this national event. Truth be told, it was not just the thought of a bunch of athletic
sexy women people running in their undies that got me to participate, albeit with camera in hand.
It was also a recent New York Times story that the dreaded purge and subsequent rectal probing, which is the colonoscopy, really saves lives.
I won’t say that I am a really slow runner, but as the following picture shows, I had sleeping babies going past me.
In the unlikely chance that there may be any audience left reading this, here are some facts, or words that you might find boring (but, pictures that hopefully you won’t):
1. More than 50,000 people in the U.S. are expected to die this year from colon cancer.
2. Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States.
3. The “clean-out,” while requiring a little time spent not venturing too far from the nearest bathroom, is not at all painful, and does seem to provide at least a bit of entertainment for the wife-person.
After about an hour taking the “cleansing cocktail” I was inspired to comment,
“Houston, we have lift off!”
(Cue: riotous laughter from the wife-person.)
4. The actual medical exam part requires the patient to do the following:
a) lie down.
b) take some really relaxing drugs.
c) take a nap.
d) wake-up and go eat and drink pretty much whatever you want.
Hell, that is pretty much how I spend an average afternoon (if you swap Scotch for the drugs).
5. What you don’t know, or don’t want to know, can in fact kill you. To wit, I just read this morning that the famed NFL coach Vince Lombardi refused a colonoscopy, even as he doubled over in abdominal pain.
Lombardi died at only 57 years of age.
6. While I do not know of any colon cancer history in my family, I had my first colonoscopy at age 50, and again, recently, at age 60. I got a letter after the last one that read,
“We removed [two] adenomatous polyps. While adenomatous polyps are not cancers they are nonetheless considered to have precancerous potential.”
While that is obviously scary sounding, the benefit of having a colonoscopy is that those non-cancers are “nipped in the bud,” as Barney Fife would say. And “recurrence is very unusual,” according to the medical evidence.
If you want more facts, or words you might find boring, the actual study can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine report.
So if you have a family history of colon cancer OR you are aged 50, as you await your own—hopefully scheduled—colonoscopy, here is the website for the Undy 5000, and possibly you will find an event in your neighborhood.
You can run or walk and you can choose between 1 mile and 5 miles. In any case, feel free to wear your undies on the outside.
The Sacramento Bee did a nice write up in today’s paper on the local event, and Daniella Peña, national operations manager with Undy 5000 and the Colorectal Cancer Awareness organization, reported that last year the event brought in over one million dollars. She was quoted as saying,
"We like to put our money where our mouth is."
Wait, does she know what part of the body the colonoscopy involves?