Saturday, June 27, 2009

OT: Don't Die of Embarassment

Bad things happen in threes. Even in Hollywood.

Ed McMahon's passing wasn't a big shock to the general public. He was seriously getting on in years, and was in declining health for some time.

People saw Farrah Fawcett's passing coming from a ways' back too. More in a bit.

Michael Jackson's sudden demise shocked the world and eclipsed the previous two. Honestly, heart disease in a 50-year-old is really not a novelty. We'll find out if that was the case in about 6 weeks when the toxicology is run. 4 weeks will be one helluva hat trick, even if all of LA County's coroner staff are assigned to it. Those tests don't run themselves and they all take more time than what's shown on CSI.

Yesterday a local news station sponsored a fan party at The Underground, even got Harry the Hawk to show up and perform. It was a nice break from the speculation that EVERY news agency has been engaging in, in a effort to create news that isn't there yet. (It applies to all broadcast and cable news - even the AP Wire has sunk to the depths of TMZ's bottom-feeders. Sick.) I say, let the fans create their memorials, celebrate the man's life; let Jackson's family mourn (which is going to be drawn out with at least 2 autopsies and biochemical analyses), see to his final affairs, and put his body in the ground. Scraping the bottom of the barrel for interviews with people who have no clue what is going on in the investigagtion just to get something out there is crass.
What I really sat down to write about was Farrah Fawcett. She opened up her life in her last weeks to show what her battle with anal cancer was like. Most patients find a way to communicate their feelings when approaching cancer; she had the means and the audience to reach out to a very broad group and perhaps raise some awareness in the public along the way.

A little over 10 years ago, Barbara Barrie conquered rectal cancer. (Which is in the same group as anal, colon, etc.) She became the spokeswoman for a colorectal cancer awareness movement titled after her book, Don't Die of Embarrassment.

Colorectal cancers can be highly curable if they're caught early. The problem is: who wants to be screened for this??? For most people, colorectal cancer screening is more awkward, invasive, and well - embarrassing than a woman's GYN exam or even a man's regular "turn your head and cough" prostate checkup. The doctors and other medical professionals aren't embarrassed, it's just a regular day of work - if you've seen one, you've seen them all. But change the roles around and even a colorectal specialist will blush when it's their turn for that checkup.

If the screening seems hard to some, how about talking about it? Certain bodily functions are either taboo for open discussion or are reduced to juvenille wisecracks.

Here's the bottom line and the point of Barrie's book: if you ignore colorectal screening, you risk dying. Of what? Cancer, for sure - but mainly of being embarrassed by the procedures. Overcoming that sense can make the difference between life and death; it did for her.

Comprehensive overview of colorectal symptoms, diagnosis, and screening

*Disclaimer: the above is information for those who happen across this blog and may find it useful. I have no idea what Ms Fawcett's medical history and care were like and it is not a judgment of her choices in said care.
There's a lot to catch up on! Yes, I saw about Barry's new letter and Vault song. I'll get to them as soon as I can. It seems the next "littlest Fanilow" may be coming a couple of weeks earlier than expected. (ow!)

1 comment:

  1. Great post YBA. I'm sure Farrah would have wanted everyone to know just that. She fought for her life as so many cancer patients do. Bringing this to the forefront will be part of her legacy.

    Take care of the newest LTF (we're waiting for the happy news!)