LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Honoring a father with reminders for better health

Friday, August 23, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

What would you do to save your own life? Get a colonoscopy? No big deal, right? Read on.

My dad died from colon cancer in 1999. I called him on his birthday that September, and he complained of painful "indigestion." About seeing a doctor, he had a typical male response: "I haven't been to a doctor in 20 years. I know my own body." When the pain got worse and he went to the ER, it was too late.

A friend of mine had a colonoscopy today. No health complaint. He's about to turn 60 and thought he should get it over with. He'd put it off because (drum roll, please): "No doctor's putting anything there," or words to that effect.

Now he says, in his words: "Get it done; you don't feel a thing; the worst part was the prep for it before I went in, which tasted awful." Do it anyway. The doctor found a polyp that will be removed in a couple of weeks. (Also, he says to get some Depends for accidents. I know, hassle. Remember, we're saving your life here. It's just for one day.)

I love and miss my dad. I could use some car advice from him right now; he was good about stuff like that. (He rebuilt the engine of my '68 Bug when I was a teenager. Sorry I didn't help. It would've been a good father/daughter project to remember.) He wouldn't mind my telling about him if it convinces you to take care of yourself.

Kim Davis is a Columbia resident.

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