Colonoscopies save lives... including mine

I lost my Mom, Elaine, nearly 20 years ago to colon cancer. She was just 64 years old. She certainly enjoyed her young grandchildren, but sadly, my kids didn't get Grandma in their lives for long.

Mom was never screened for colon cancer. She became ill, was diagnosed and died four months later. Because she had never been screened, the cancer was pretty advanced - really, too late for her to fight it.

Regardless of my experience as a nurse, I learned the importance of preventive screenings at a pretty young age, especially about colonoscopies.

Because Mom died from colon cancer, I'm at greater risk myself, so I had my first colonoscopy at age 32. Polyps were discovered and removed before they developed into cancer. That likely saved my life and now I'm screened every three to five years.

My first child is getting married next summer and I hope to have grandbabies one day, too. Life's a wonderful adventure and I want to be here for it.

Marla Larkin, RN, Ridgeview Medical Center
Mother of three, lover of skiing, hiking and all things outdoors