FIT for life

My apologies to the lab technician at LifeLabs who will now have to process the specimen collection for my FIT Package, which, for those who have yet to reach the life pinnacle of entering their 50s, is a colon (bowel) cancer screening test. I failed you. I failed myself. 

And given the purpose of the test, I sincerely hope I fail that too.

Before I flush out this story any further, if you are reading this while eating food, stop. 

Fair warning.

Cancer is no laughing matter. It’s cruel, random and has recently taken one of my closest friends, a dear heart soul sister whose friendship was and always will be one of the most grounding relationships of my life.

But my friend loved to laugh at me and with me, and was also a healthcare worker, so I know she would approve of this column. 

When it comes to health, I don’t mess around, but boy, did I make a mess of this simple at-home test provided to me by Ontario Health’s Cancer Care Ontario. 

Full disclosure: I got this test in the mail and avoided it for weeks. It was on my to-do list to do the poo-poo test, I just kept delaying it. 

On Sunday, I put the test next to toilet so I would remember. 

Monday morning, like clockwork, the opportunity presented itself. I locked the bathroom door, opened the envelope, followed the adorable step-by-step pictograph and set the scene, grateful it wasn’t Wednesday, because Taco Tuesday … say no more.

Turns out I wasn’t alone for this most private of moments. Scout, my terrier, was, unbeknownst to me, bathing in the sunlight and thus, now a part of the experience. She had to witness what it means when humans say “the poop hit the fan,” because let me assure you, that’s what this moment was. 

Something in Scout’s judgemental body language told me this was payback for all the times I hovered over her watching her do her business, humiliating her by bagging it up and having the audacity to cheer for her on occasion, like really cold morning walks when I just wanted her to hurry up.

I’ll spare you the gory details of my episode, but suffice to say, I forgot my glasses, which, for those playing along, are a prerequisite when completing the FIT test. 

Basically, you get a skinny green applicator to stuff the test tube with, well, you know. But the tube has an opening so small that the process of filling it is akin to spackling drywall pin holes with Polyfilla, although far more frustrating and less gratifying. 

I took the task very seriously, maybe too seriously, which resulted in a laughing fit at how ridiculous this moment was, which then made my eyes water, which didn’t help with accuracy at all. 

Finally, I washed up, set the test tube into its plastic envelope, and mentally scripted the letter of apology I considered enclosing to the LifeLabs technician who would receive this test and wonder what kind of an idiot could screw this up. 

Me. I’m that idiot. 

Poop happens.

*Note: Cancer is no joke. The tests are important, so when it’s your turn, do your part. It costs you nothing. Wait until I tell you about my mammogram. So fun.

WriteOut of Her Mind