Going to doctors in sobriety...and the results

I sat on posting this for a few days, wondering if it is related to recovery. I finally decided that it is.

While I was drinking heavily, I didn’t take very good care of myself. My husband of four months was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with spread to the lymph nodes and liver at age 34. I was working full time at a very stressful job - and trying to take care of him. I gained somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 pounds (I drank to deal with stress and fear) - and started having odd physical symptoms, some of which led me to have a colonoscopy at age 35. A couple of polyps were found, some that didn’t look great. Was supposed to have another colonoscopy at age 38. By the time I hit 38, my husband’s cancer had recurred in his lung, chemotherapy was hell…and quite honestly, I didn’t care if I lived or died. I didn’t get the colonoscopy.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I’m now about to turn 46. I am coming up on 21 months sober. My husband is alive and well. I have two wild little boys…and I started thinking about emotional sobriety as well as physical. I got sober so that I could live…and so that I could be the mother my kids needed. What I wasn’t doing was taking care of myself responsibly in other ways. After talking with another drunk about putting off decisions based on emotional wreckage and fear, I scheduled that follow up colonoscopy.

I’m damn glad I did. The doctor found and removed a large, aggressive, precancerous polyp - a sessile serrated adenoma. In talking with the doctor after the pathology report, I said, “So you are telling me that this might have turned to cancer before I had another colonoscopy?”. The answer was that, in all probability, it would have turned to cancer in the next six months to a year. Even though they feel they removed it all, I’m to have another colonoscopy in six months.

And ready for this? Not a lot is known about this particular cancer pathway - but it is believed that heavy alcohol users are over 80 percent more likely to develop this kind of polyp than non-drinkers. Yeah…that.

I bring this up just to say…if you have been putting off a doctor visit…or a dental visit…or anything you know you need to do to take care of yourself? Don’t wait. Had I waited much longer, my future would look very different. I love y’all…and I want ya to hang around.


Oh Holly, I’m relieved to hear that you and your husband are both well now!

Your post brings to mind a couple things for me. First, whenever I see a new provider, even the urgent care, I let them know in in recovery and I’m wicked adverse to narcotics. Second, when I see my primary physician for my physical each year, I hand him some AA pamphlets, so he knows what resources are available to his patients.

Get your colonoscopies, kids! I’m at higher risk and started earlier than usual and get a repeat every 5 years.

Thanks for your forthright and courageous sharing of yourself with us. :pray:


Great share. Thank you.
I think I should put a back door checkup on the to-do list


Wow. Glad you shared this with us and especially glad you’re healthy now!

1 Like

Holy shit so glad you got that check out and are ok! My father had half of his colon removed when he was 64-had a really bad cancer scare and he’s a wine-o. Ironic? I think not. Something in you said you needed to get that checkup and I bet you’re so glad you did! Thanks for sharing and making others aware…we all need to continue to take care of ourselves, getting sober is only the beginning of that journey!


Good thing you went when you did @MoCatt. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Pls give us an update in 6 months.

Thank you for sharing and it’s really making me think. My dad passed at 66 due to colon cancer and my daughter had precancerous polyps removed at 22. My dad was an alcoholic my entire life. I’ve been told I should get checked early due to family history but I’ve been too scared. Here I am at 52 and it’s time to do this.


Thank you @MoCatt

I’m 55 and haven’t had any exploratory tests done, well nothing other than what my primary doctor or gyne (on my rare visits) do.
Drinking was my focus. Figured I’ve bound to inflicted harm on my body in some way, so why look for it.

I will ponder. :pray::kissing_heart:


Really appreciate you sharing this. You are a tremendously strong woman. Will definitely be keeping you and your family in my prayers.


why look for it.

I think you can enumerate the people who will benefit from your taking care of your health.

I quit drinking at 45, smoking at 48. Started running at 50. Started triathlons at 57. I’m still getting after it, taking on more races at higher difficulty.

I do this to show my kids what redemption looks like. I do it to ensure a longer time loving my wife on this earthly plane. I do it because my higher power has given me the opportunity to do it.

I refuse to “go gentle into that good night”.


I’ve been told I should get checked early due to family history but I’ve been too scared. Here I am at 52 and it’s time to do this.

Ah Lisa…I so understand that fear. My two cents, now that I’ve done it? Knowing is so much better than being afraid. Now I have knowledge and a plan, whereas before I just had avoidance and worry.

And the procedure itself? Nothing to it, other than the prep the night before…and even that isn’t as bad as folks say. I didn’t know a thing during the procedure…slept like a baby.

So yes…it is time, dear. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions or want to chat.:heart:


I’m 55 and haven’t had any exploratory tests done, well nothing other than what my primary doctor or gyne (on my rare visits) do.

Yes, yes, yes! It is one morning or afternoon that can save your life…and the procedure itself will just give you a nice nap. Totally worth it for peace of mind, and if anything is there, you need to know.


So glad they got that polyp out of you and you are healthy. What a relief that is!! I am glad you shared your experience here.


1 Like

Thank you!! My best friend works for a gastroenterologist and she sent me a text saying she will get me right in. I’m just waiting for insurance which starts in 30 days. I’m going to do this.


Good for you Lisa. It is a simple procedure. Good to get it done and ease your mind.


Ah, this makes my day. So glad you are getting it done.

1 Like

so glad to hear you and your hubby are alive and well :heart: this past saturday i was at a funeral for a 39 year old young father and husband who lost his life to an aggressive form of cancer. i hope everyone here reads this and takes it as a kick in the butt to get to the doc. x


Glad you got that taken care of . Also good to hear about your husband. My dad has cancer an reading your post gave me some positivity that I’ve been lacking today.

1 Like

I’m holding you to this. For real. Don’t mess around lady. This is seriously important!!


My late *mum died of bowl cancer .ive had three *colonoscopys found a few polyps had them removed that was a few years ago now , here in scotland over 60 we get checked for a aneurysm which can develop in your stomach /chest area my check was clear but my identical twin had one under 5 cm so wasnt to bad but a few year down the line it has got bigger the last few years he has made his funeral arrangements it could have burst any time , sohe got to have a operation now 80/20 chance end of feb so fingers crossed , i go to the hyper tension clinic every 6 months and go to my dentist on a regular basis just to do the right thing , wish you well


Excellent news (catching it while pre-cancerous), and sage advice. I will be scheduling my over-due colonoscopy asap.

1 Like