Why was I proactive in my health care and why did I go for an early colonoscopy? What is the relationship between Garden Valley, Idaho, the word “queen” and last but not least a colonoscopy?

The word “queen” in the title is used as a metaphor. Garden Valley, Idaho has to do with its spiritual environment and the women. The women were just fabulous, and it was such a pleasure to meet them and share thoughts. One of our many topics of discussion was past lives. This lit a spark in my mind: Had I lived past lives during a time when queens ruled Europe with experience and panache?

The word colonoscopy. That comes later, dear readers.

Past lives

Last summer my husband Sheldon Good, better known as my ultimate concierge, and I visited our daughter-in-law Jami in the tiny community of Garden Valley, Idaho.

I loved our experience. The community sits high in the mountains. The homes are beautiful and they blend in with the pine trees and winding roads. There is one gas station in the entire town. The homeowners are artists, writers and senior citizens who have left their big city lives in hopes of finding peace and quiet in a different lifestyle after 50.

The winter months are spent skiing, reading, having in-depth conversations and creating artwork around wood burning fireplaces. The summer months are filled with hiking, gardening and bathing in the natural hot sulfur springs. I loved the quiet of the day. I loved Garden Valley.

I met interesting women on my trip and had conversations I hadn’t had with my city friends. I fit in with these women because I liked their earthy conversation and their openness. We laughed and despite our short time together, we bonded.

I cannot recall how the subject of past lives became a topic of our conversation, but I may have brought it up. All of the women said they believed they had lived past lives and I asked them how they knew.

They talked about déjà vu, saying they felt they had met someone or visited a place before and they felt they were wiser than usual on certain topics. They mentioned they had “old familiar feelings.”

I always say, “I do my best thinking in the shower,” and I did just that in the shower of the bed and breakfast we were staying at in Garden Valley. I thought about my relationships, what draws me to places and what draws me to things.

I am drawn to the Sea which God created on the second day centuries ago. I am drawn to tropical palms and orchid plants that God created on the third day. I am drawn to the book, “The Alchemist,” written by Paulo Coelho and its old values that still hold true today. I am drawn to the old artists, Matisse, Monet and Renoir. I am drawn to the old city of Paris, old Montmartre and historic architecture versus the new. I play only old French music in my car. I love the Old South and “Gone with the Wind” fashions of women who lived at Tara. I love to read about the queens of centuries past, such as Queen Victoria, and I love old Versailles and the Petit Palace and Marie Antoinette. I often say, “I know I was a French woman in a past life.” I recalled when I was a little girl and my friends and I would go back in time to play Cowboys and Indians. I was always an Apache Indian princess, giving myself the name, Sun-seria! I do not remember why I gave myself that name.

Test your curiosity, dear readers. Do you think you lived a past life?

Did my past life affect my current decisions?

Now to the present. It is it related to my past?

Was I an old soul who had lived past lives and therefore knew to make an appointment for a routine colonoscopy, even after the famous doctor, who had performed my first one said, “I will see you in ten years?” I was so excited that day. A ten-year reprieve, lucky me!

Over the course of the next eight years, my husband had to have two colonoscopies because he had non-cancerous polyps. Three months ago, I proactively made another appointment for him and decided, though dreading the procedure, I would not wait ten years. I reasoned with myself, “Why would anyone wait ten years to see if a polyp would grow in their colon?”

Had I lived past lives and knew to listen to my thoughts and not the doctor’s? Whatever it was, I called and made an appointment for that awful routine colonoscopy, as much as I did not want to. I had no premonitions. I felt great.

That phone call saved my life. Am I an old soul with past life experience?

Am I the queen? That is easy. I have had plenty of experience.

In the last two months, I have had more than one colonoscopy. Though not theoretically a titled queen, I feel secure in titling myself a Colonoscopy Queen because I am an authority on the art of the colonoscopy!

I had the colonoscopy and it turned out to be anything but routine. I had a very large polyp that could not be removed through a normal procedure because it was located at the very top of my colon. The doctor said I had, “a very sexy colon with lots and lots of curves.”

“You will have to have another colonoscopy as soon as possible,” said the doctor. “This time with a specialist who is skilled in the removal of difficult polyps. If he cannot remove it because of the location and size, you will have to have surgery and remove five inches from your colon.”

I asked one question, “Is the polyp malignant?”

He replied, “No. It is precancerous, but will become cancerous if not removed.”

During the second colonoscopy the doctor removed the polyp. Due to the size, it had to be removed in pieces and I had five clamps placed in my colon. I was told to be very careful not to lift anything and to watch for fever, bleeding and pain. I also had to wait a week for the biopsy report.

The Colonoscopy Queen

The new doctor said there was a 1% chance I had cancer. He added, “If you had waited ten years you would have been in real trouble. By the way, I will see you in six months for another colonoscopy! We have to make sure we did not leave any pieces of the polyp.”

“OMG,” I said to him. “I will soon be known as the Colonoscopy Queen.” He laughed and so did my husband. I even smiled.

Over the course of the next week, I had no problems. Eight days later I learned I was cancer free.

What prompted me to forge ahead with an unpleasant procedure when a ‘brilliant’ doctor told me, “You can wait ten years?”

I asked myself, “Was I wise because I have lived past lives?” or “Did I get in touch with my inner conscience because of conversations in Garden Valley?” Who knows.

In the meantime, dear readers, don’t put off what you should do for yourself and your better half. Be proactive. Don’t wait until something is wrong. You may save your life, as I saved mine. You may save your partner’s life. You want to continue leading a healthy and stylish life after 50.

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