By Jean Winstead
To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “I can’t wait to have a colonoscopy”. Well after having three, it was time for me to have number four. And yes, I waited. I was a year and ½ “behind schedule”.
I was referred to Dr. Michele Thomas and at the initial office visit she put me at ease and the best part was she never made me feel guilty that I hadn’t scheduled the procedure earlier. She said calmly “you are here now and that’s what counts”. With detailed instructions on the “prep” to specific diet limitations prior the procedure, it was all easy to follow. This was the first time I was given an option of prep choices and I chose the pill regimen. No drinking gallons of a salty solution – instead pills at certain intervals with lots of water.
On February 26th, I arrived at Beebe’s Outpatient Surgery Center on route 24 and hoped I won’t have anesthesia issues. Fortunately, my anesthesia team of Dr. Stephanie Allison and CRNA Sue Davis took amazing care of me and assured me I would have no ill effects from the anesthesia. I was skeptical based on prior experiences. Just in case there were difficulties, I planned a day off following my procedure. Cynthia McMahon was my perioperative nurse and took excellent care of me preparing me for the procedure. With a reassuring pre-op visit from Dr. Thomas off to the operating room I go.
What happens next? I wake up in recovery with my husband Mark holding my hand and telling me it all went well! Huh? What? It’s OVER? My nurse Michelle Dwyer helped me through the post op and was so attentive and kind. Dr. Thomas confirmed all went well and I’ll be diligent in scheduling my next one when it’s time. No ill effects from anesthesia and the next day I enjoyed a wonderful day off shopping and relaxing.
I’m celebrating Dr. Michele Thomas and this team that made me so comfortable during this important health screening! The American Cancer Society estimates the number of new colorectal cases for 2018 to be 97,200 and 43, 030 new cases of rectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. It’s expected to cause about 50,630 deaths during 2018.
For many, finding screening opportunities can be difficult. Frustration can lead to procrastination. That is why nurse navigators are a valuable resource to help overcome barriers. They guide, they support and they always have the most current information to assist in making a decision. Need more information? Contact Debbie Campbell RN, MSN, Cancer Screening Nurse Navigator at
Tunnell Cancer Center (302) 645-3169.
Statistics from: American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2018. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2018.
Photo caption: Jean Winstead and Dr. Michele Thomas