Mucket was a nickname given to my dad years ago.
It basically meant 10 gallons of manure in a 5-gallon bucket: Mucket. It’s a nickname he proudly claimed. My dad could fill a room — or more accurately — a ball field, with his ornery smile and sense of humor. He’d willingly admit to being so full of it that his blue eyes should’ve been brown. He thrived on jokes, pranks and funny stories.
Recently, someone told my husband, “Your wife’s a live wire, but then again, so was her father.” I couldn’t have gotten a larger compliment!!
The sad irony is that a man whose very nickname indicated how full of it he was ended up losing his life to colon cancer. Mucket didn’t take the time to clean out his bucket and have it checked.
Last Saturday my dad should’ve celebrated his 74th birthday. Again, ironically, March is also colorectal cancer awareness month. 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. On average, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about 1 in 20.
If you’re like me, with a 1st degree relative who has had colon cancer, you’re between two and three times more likely to develop it than those without a family history. Seventy percent of people diagnosed report no symptoms. The good news is colon cancer is one of the most preventable and, if found early, most treatable and beatable forms of cancer. Screening’s the number one way to reduce your risk.
I know that no one wants to get a colonoscopy. I know the prep is really “crappy.” I’ve been there. When I turned 40, I drank that nasty stuff and spent the day perched on the porcelain throne in our home. Although a rapid weight loss technique, it wasn’t any fun. You know what’s worse? Chemo is worse. In my dad’s case, literally starving to death was much worse.
When I had the test, I was nervous and a little uncomfortable with the idea of a camera going in the exit door. You know what’s more uncomfortable than a test you pretty much sleep through? Surgeries are uncomfortable. Radiation is uncomfortable. Hearing a Hospice nurse say “we can keep your dad comfortable” was definitely uncomfortable.
People have told me that they’d rather not know than go through the prep and test. I tell them 2 days of inconvenience is worth the added years with their family. If you’re 50, or 40 with a family history, get your rear in gear and get screened. If someone you love is 50, or younger with risk factors, be a pain in their behind until they get screened. No “butts” about it, a colonoscopy can save your life or that of someone you love.
Get screened for yourself. Get screened for your loved ones. Get screened for our family. Clean out your bucket. Get it screened in memory of Mucket.