Colon Cancer Sunday!
Today we are going on a fantastic adventure through the colon!
Hello friends! Do you know what today is? Why, it's my favorite day of the year, Colon Cancer Sunday! Today we are going to deal with a very serious disease in a tactless and quite possibly offensive manner. There is plenty to see in this update as we explore the disease and try to shatter the taboos surrounding it. In an age where many people would rather stick their head into the sand than admit they have some kind of problem with their body, it's no surprise that colorectal (hehe "rectal") cancer is such a touchy subject. Many people, and I'm sure this happens more often than you think, try to ignore symptoms of illness when they begin to see them. How many people see blood in their stool or a lump on their skin and ignore it, hoping that it will just go away on it's own? More than there should be. Colon cancer is the ultimate taboo disease because it occurs in the most forbidden of body parts, the ass. It is recommended that men over the age of 50 receive a yearly colonoscopy. Only 44% of men ever follow through on this. It doesn't make any sense to me. The colon cancer taboo is still very much alive and well. However, one woman has gone to extreme lengths to get the word out. Her name is Molly McMaster and she runs the Colossal Colon. McMaster, who was diagnosed with colon cancer when she was 23, built a huge colon and hauls it all over the country to raise awareness of colon cancer. From the web site:
My goal as a young colon cancer survivor and advocate has always been to raise awareness of the disease in younger people. The route I've always taken has been the craziest, most attention grabbing one I find. The sillier, the better. Colorectal cancer is a very serious disease, but no one wants to talk about it. Enter the Colossal Colon.
WITH THE COLOSSAL COLON, YOU CAN'T NOT TALK ABOUT IT!
Whether she's an ingenious advocate or a crazy bitch is up to the courts to decide, but let me tell you one thing, I love the Colossal Colon. I first heard of the colon on Visiting... with Huell Howser that is aired daily in California on PBS. The Huell Howser Show is quite possibly the greatest thing that has ever been shown on television. The Tennessee native travels all over California and is absolutely amazed by everything he sees. No one can get excited about the most boring and banal of road stops like this guy. I've never seen anyone look at an ordinary rock and say, "This is amazing!" Huell is like a kid and California is his candy store. In a recent episode Howser met up with McMaster at the Colossal Colon and toured the facility.
As you crawl through the colon you can see the various stages of cancer. Here Huell and McMaster are enjoying a nice view of some polyps. I can't wait to see the Colossal Colon in person. I want to get a season pass and enjoy the colon all year long. They are going to put in a new attraction later this year where you ride in a life-size turd and learn all about the digestive tract. For those of you who get off on hot chicks with colon cancer, there is a "colondar" you can buy featuring just that! Oh man I'm going to have a good time tonight if you know what I mean. And if you don't know what I mean, I meant that I will be masturbating to pictures of colon cancer.
Now this is the point in the article where I would have revealed the overall theme of the update. The problem is, no one cared! My original idea was to round up all of the prominent authors of web comics I could think of and bring them together to raise awareness of colon cancer. Now I understand there has been some animosity in the past between Something Awful and just about everybody who uses a computer, but the idea was that no matter what the differences are between web sites, colon cancer is an important enough issue to put those differences aside. For example, here is the email I sent to User Friendly.
Dear User Friendly,
My name is Spokker Jones and I write for the web site Something Awful. You may not have heard of it, but I am planning on writing an update to be posted on Sunday about colon cancer. I am writing prolific webmasters to ask them if they would like to band together and raise awareness and somehow demystify the taboo surrounding the subject. The theme is, no matter what the differences between different web sites are, colon cancer is no joke!
If you feel that this is a worthy cause I am asking for a User Friendly drawing that features one or more characters in a colon related situation. For example, one guy could say, "I heard that Windows XP does not prevent colon cancer." and the other character replies, "NOT EVEN LINUX CAN PREVENT COLON CANCER."
Unfortunately I cannot offer compensation other than a link back to your website and a hearty thumbs up, but if you feel that this is a worthy cause let me know.
I sent similar emails to Megatokyo, Penny Arcade, and PVP, among others, and only one web site replied, User Friendly. So the next time you think about your favorite web site remember one thing, only Something Awful and User Friendly have the goddamn balls to tackle an issue this huge. Here's what User Friendly sent back.
I don't know what S.C.O. is but I'm sure it has something to do with Linux. Nonetheless I am touched by this contribution from the world's leading authority on nerd humor that I could never ever understand in my lifetime unless I became unemployed and started hanging out in IRC all day. The rest of them? Cowards! None of them could hold a candle to Something Awful. We are number 1 and we will stay number 1. I pray to my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, that Gabe, Piro, and whoever writes PVP get colon cancer and have to shit in a bag out the side of their abdomen for the rest of their lives. Oh Lord oh Lord please make this be. Oh Lordie Lordie, please hear my prayer! Anyway, let's get this dog and pony show on the road.
Here's Huell holding up a colonoscope. I have one at home and use it nightly.
Colon cancer isn't like herpes, breast cancer, or AIDS. It's a serious disease that deserves our utmost attention. Before we start talking about colon cancer we need to understand what cancer is as a whole. Cancer is like those science fiction novels where a super smart robot is created but he figures out how to change his own program and then runs amok in the city and kills everyone and robs banks. Your body's cells are a lot like those robots. They all have a job to do. But sometimes they go insane and start replicating like mad and form insane cell alliances called tumors. These tumors take over your other organs like your stomach and your butt. Once the tumor has spread to other organs, you are most likely dead and must go to the afterlife mandated by your current religion. If you are an atheist you just rot in the ground. If you are Catholic there will be 40 alter boys waiting for you in heaven.
The most common type of person to develop colon cancer are men over the age of 50. Despite the fact they don't poop or fart, women can also develop colon cancer and are just as much at risk as men. Family history is also a factor. If your family includes a history of colon cancer it is a good idea to get tested every year. Check your parents current stool and compare it to previous samples. Has the consistency of the stool changed? Is there blood? Are your parents going to the bathroom more often than usual? If any of these things occur schedule an appointment with your doctor. If your family does have a history of colon cancer consider killing your family before they give it to you. Diet also plays a role in the formation of colon cancer. Those whose diets are rich in fruit and vegetables and low in red meat are less likely to develop the disease, as well as a whole host of other diseases. Exercise and physical activity further decrease the risk. Smokers and community college students, since every damn one of them smokes, are more likely to die of colon cancer. The moral of the story is, GET UP OFF YOUR ASS AND GO OUTSIDE AND STOP EATING HAMBURGERS YOU FAT SACK OF CRAP. The days of stuffing 20x20s in your mouth at In-N-Out are over. Put it behind you. That shit is embarrassing anyway. What kind of person eats a 20x20? Those people are not laughing with you, they are laughing at you.
But how do you know when you have colon cancer? The most common symptom is no symptom at all. Cancer doesn't call you up and let you know it's coming to live with you. It just sort of shows up and makes itself unnoticable until it's too late. Colon cancer, or any cancer for that matter, is like a ticking time bomb in your ass. Many people don't know they have it until they see blood in their shit, and by that time the cancer has probably already developed into a more malignant form. This poses a very dangerous predicament for young people. Only 7% of people in the United States will get colon cancer, with most of those being tired old men who haven't exercised since grade school and ate nothing but delicious 6 Dollar Burgers with that huge beef patty full of juicy meat goodness all their lives oh God I want one right now! At 50, you just sort of assume you have something and go to the doctor automatically, but the risk is so low for those under 50, especially people in their 20s, that colonosopys are not even covered by most health insurance plans. Being diagnosed with colon cancer at a young age is like winning some kind of reverse lottery, of DEATH! Despite this grim scenario there are some symptoms to look out for. They are:
Blood in your stool.
Change in bowel habits and stool consistency.
Unexplained weight loss.
Ass suddenly bursts into flames.
Your poops have eyes, hair, and teeth, and occasionally begin conversations with you.
Your lover asks you why there is blood on his penis.
Whining about the fact that you have colon cancer.
Your poops glow in the dark.
While colon cancer is a serious disease, if caught early enough, it is very curable. If you have any of symptoms described above it is in your best interest to see a doctor, ideally someone who specializes in human beings. While going to a veterinarian may yield huge discounts and incredible savings, I can tell you from experience that going to a people doctor is more likely to result in a cure. One time I went to the vet for a broken arm, and they made me wear one of those big white cone shaped collars for a week.
Here is an example of a happy colon. If your colon does not look like this see a doctor immediately! Special thanks to Shmorky for the illustration.
In a feeble attempt to explore the disease on a more personal level I decided to interview someone who has gone through both diagnosis and treatment for the disease. Something Awful Forum Member "criscodisco" stepped up to the plate and let me ask him questions about his butt.
Spokker: The thing most men and women are afraid of when it comes to colon cancer is the colonoscopy. For most straight men, any foreign object attempting entry into their anus is most likely denied. I can tell you right now that if I were going in for a colonoscopy I would instinctively clench my ass so tight that not even God himself would be able to get up there. When you go to have the camera stuck up your ass, how do you get into that mindset to let it into your anus?
criscodisco: Well, the prep behind the colonoscopy is much worse. When I went in for the colonoscopy, they gave me a drug called Versaid, that kept me awake, but I had no memory of the event itself. Of course, before and after the colonoscopy, I had all manner of devices stuck up my ass, most resembling a dildo with headlights. It's kind of like pooping backwards. Not really painful, but very odd feeling, and it gives you a sense of panic. I can't say that I got into any certain mindset, but with each probing, my body would fight it for a minute, but the doctors would only push harder, and eventually my ass and I gave up the good fight.
Spokker: Were you lubed up before the procedure?
criscodisco: Liberally. That's the one thing I distinctly remember before the drugs did their thing. The doctor had me lay on my side, with my knees drawn up, and he took a helping handful of the coldest gel ever, and rubbed it up and down my crack, and worked it into me. That was just a really embarrassing feeling, having some stranger behind you lathering your ass with gel.
Spokker: What caused you to go to the doctor in the first place? Symptoms? Family history of colon cancer?
criscodisco: One night at work, I got the unmistakable feeling of diarrhea. I bolted to the toilet, and it felt like that horrible pure-liquid diarrhea, where it sounds like you're peeing, but when I stood up after flushing, I looked down to see red water swirling down. Over the course of that night, I had three more episodes like this, where I was evacuating a bowel completely full of blood. I tried my best to ignore the situation, but after three days of pooping nothing but blood every 4-5 hours, I finally called my doctor. The receptionist told me to head to the ER immediately, so I did. It turned out that I had 9 tumors in the lining of my colon, and they were causing the lining to split, causing the hemorrhaging.
This is what criscodisco's colon looked like when he was diagnosed. Here you can see Huell Howser and Molly McMaster fighting the cancer in criscodisco's ass.
Spokker: How did you feel when the doctor told you you had colon cancer? Did you immediately think, "Goddamn, I'm dead and I'm going to have to live in a graveyard." or did you have faith in the medical institution to cure you?
criscodisco: Well, I didn't really understand what was going on. When the doctor who performed the colonoscopy told me that they saw several large tumors, I was still coming out of anaesthesia, and I really couldn't understand what he was telling me. He just told me that he had contacted an oncologist at OSU, and that I had an appointment for the next day with him. It was later that night, after I was dropped off at home, that it really sunk in. I was pretty sure I was dead at that point. All of the research I did on the Internet made me pretty sure that no matter what the course of treatment, it would be pure hell. Also, I watched my grandfather waste away from brain cancer, and that was all I could think about. I contemplated very strongly doing nothing, because I've always been the kind to take the easy road.
Spokker: How did they treat your condition?
criscodisco: First, they went in to remove about 1/3 of my colon, as well as several small circular regions in the remaining 2/3rds. The surgery was worse than you could possibly imagine. I had to take 8 weeks off of work just to recover from that. 2 weeks after my surgery, they started me on an oral chemotherapy regiment that lasted for 3 months, two weeks on and two weeks off.
Spokker: You had 1/3 of your colon removed. What is that, intestines, anus, sphincter? What exactly was removed? What did they put in it's place?
criscodisco: They removed a small portion of the rectum, and a large portion of the large intestine. The portion they removed was in a strip, not all the way around, so they were able to reconnect it without losing it's functional ability. I just have much less time in between craps, and much much less warning when it's going to happen. I actually pooped my pants once because of it. Imagine taking a garden hose, and cutting a strip lengthwise, about 1/2 inch by 6 inches, then sewing the hose back together. It would still work, but water wouldn't get through nearly as well.
Spokker: Does the poop ever fall out of the incision in your colon and rush to your brain?
criscodisco: Not yet. Unless that's where my dirty thoughts are coming from. I have been blaming SA for them all along, but I think I have a better excuse.
Spokker: You mentioned you had been given oral chemotherapy. Your poops aren't radioactive now are they?
criscodisco: No, but when I went through barium injections to check for any problems in healing, my poop was white as the driven snow. That was damn cool.
Spokker: How about your farts? Are they any different?
criscodisco: Actually, yes. One of the incisions they made was very similar to an episiotomy, except on my asshole, and since it is now different due to scarring, my farts are actually louder. I used to always be able to make mine "silent but deadlys" when I was at work, but now they sing like banshees. Also, I tend to not realize they are coming until the last minute. Luckily everyone I work with knows what I had done, so I don't have to feel bad at all about leaning against someone's desk and talking to them, and letting one rip two feet from their heads.
Spokker: Is there any daily maintenence that you have to perform because of this disease? How often do you have to go back to the doctor?
criscodisco: My daily maintenance is no different, other than having to use the bathroom more often. I went from one good dump a day to 2 or 3, sometimes 4. I've learned to love Cottonelle aloe wipes. After everything was said and done, I had to go in for several full body scans to make sure that cancerous cells hadn't broken off and lodged anywhere else in my body. Now I have to have a colonoscopy every 3 months, for the next few years at least. Eventually, I will only have to have them once a year, but never less than that.
Spokker: How much does all this shit cost? Who is footing the bill?
criscodisco: I had pretty good insurance. All of the bills including the initial ER visit, the surgery and the subsequent chemo totaled about $185,000, but when my insurance was done it cost me about $2500 out of pocket. OSU let me tell them how much I could afford a month, and it took about 9 months to pay it off. Now I just have to pay a $10 co pay every time I have a colonoscopy.
Spokker: As someone who has had colon cancer, can you still enjoy colon cancer humor? Can non-colon cancer folks tell colon cancer jokes around you?
Today criscodisco and his happy colon are doing just fine.
criscodisco: Sure. I'm not easily offended anyway, if I were you would never know who I was. But cancer jokes and general humor about colons still crack me up. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with this whole mess, so why not laugh about it.
Spokker: What do you think of these organizations like Colossal Colon? Are they doing any good or is this crazy bitch that started it just a crazy bitch?
criscodisco: Well, the colossal colon is just damn cool. I'd like to have one in my backyard. But, I probably would have never gotten a colonoscopy had my ass not been belching blood. I'm a major procrastinator in that respect, and will do anything to avoid going to the doctor. But if people out there are influenced by things of this nature, then rock on, because if I had waited a few more weeks it would have been much, much worse. Not to sound all "The More You Know", but it is all about early detection, and if I had known about mine earlier, I probably wouldn't have had to go through about 6 months of pure hell.
Spokker: Thanks a lot. I hope you and your colon live a happy and long life together.
The moral of this story isn't that you should be afraid of colon cancer but that you should recognize it's existence and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. As far as most cancers go, colon cancer is probably the most treatable. Most of you will never get the disease and will probably have to deal with some other horrible illness. But for those of you that do get colon cancer, remember my name as you are getting probed in the ass by some guy with a long skinny camera. If I can get just one person to check their asshole after reading this update, it will all be worth it. Go on. Do it. Stick your hand up there and check for polyps. Don't make me take off my belt!
I'd like to thank our very own Shmorky, User Friendly's Illiad, Colossalcolon.com, Huell Howser, and forum member criscodisco for making this the very best Colon Cancer Sunday ever. I can't wait until next year when we can do it all over again!
The Best Weekend Web Ever
Hello internet friends, Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez here with what is without a doubt my favorite Weekend Web that we have ever posted on this web site. Forget the long-winded intros, just click on the link below the picture!
Conan? Cock polish? JUST WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!
A ROM Pit a day keeps the doctor away!
Oh boy we're just chock full of content today aren't we? Just like mama said before I threw her off the train, "Quantity over quality!" Taking that message to heart here is a ROMPit review featuring a game about everybody's favorite bastardized novel, Frankenstein! Have you ever wondered how the Japanese would take on the story of Frankenstein? Well you better because here it is!
The only thing I really know about Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is that by not reading it caused my grade in 10th grade English to go down substantially as opposed to if I had been smart enough to buy the Cliff's Notes like everyone else did. Despite my ignorance I do know one thing about the book, THE MONSTER'S NAME ISN'T MOTHER FUCKING FRANKENSTEIN!!!