I’ve been watching a lot of Marvel movies lately, so I thought it would be appropriate to kick things off with my backstory. My name is Ben Schultz, and my back(side) story began before I was even born…
My paternal grandmother was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and was told she would never get to meet her grandchild that was on the way. To her doctor’s surprise, she used superhuman levels of stubbornness and an incredible desire to see her grandbaby to win her battle with cancer. In fact, I got to spend 33 years with my superhero grandma. Best yet, my grandma even got to meet my wife and our two children!
Hearing the stories about my grandma introduced me to the harsh reality of colorectal (the antagonist in this story) at an early age.
My next exposure to the colorectal bandit came when I was about five years old. I vaguely remember my dad telling me that he needed to go to the doctor to have a test done, and him spending the entire night in the bathroom. It turns out he had a colonoscopy where they removed ~20 or so pre-cancerous polyps.
Needless to say, with this type of history, colonoscopies were commonplace for my grandma and dad throughout my childhood. With the history of colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyps in my family, I thoroughly expected to begin my colonoscopy journey at the age of 40 to stave off the cancer bandit.
Slightly graphic symptom descriptions to follow, if you are easily grossed out, you might want to skip the next paragraph. However, I’d highly encourage you to read on, it could save your life.
Fast forward 30 years… I first began suspecting something was wrong when I started seeing occasional red blood and mucus in my stool about once a month. I mentioned this to my doctor during a routine physical, and he said this was usually caused by constipation in males my age. Feeling relieved, I upped the amount of fiber in my diet, and things seemed to get a bit better.
Two years later, the symptoms I mentioned in the paragraph above began to happen weekly, if not more often. Then I really suspected something was wrong. My previous doctor had since left the area, so I decided to schedule a physical with another doctor. This time I described my symptoms and remembered to mention my family history of colorectal cancer. This set off enough red flags to warrant a colonoscopy.
Queue dramatic music… the colonoscopy revealed a 4 CM mass in my rectum and the biopsies showed that it was malignant. Great, the cancer bandit decided to make yet another appearance in my life, this time as ass cancer.
So now that you know the back(side) story, strap in and join me as I channel three generations of stubborn assholes that refuse to lose the fight against ass cancer!