Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0342 - Colondar

Scarred. Yes, having undergone surgery for an low anterior resection, I am scarred. Or, as I often say when asked, "I have one huge, wonkin' scar in my abdomen." It's really long and makes me feel quite self-conscious when even the thought of wearing a bathing suit comes to mind.

But there are other, probably smarter, people than me who have also undergone resections who realize that the scar is a badge of honour and a symbol of survival from the second leading cause of cancer death in North America. The Colon Club, at http://www.colondar.com/, publish an annual calendar with photographs which actually celebrate their abdominal scars and tell stories of survivors (not all the photographs are of scars!).

I never would have thought of something like this, but after getting used to the idea for a little while, I think it's a great idea. The stories are especially inspiring. There are tales from people with Stage 1, 2, 3 and 4 diagnoses.

The web site is designed to educate people about colorectal cancer. It includes crazy projects like the calendar, a 40-foot colon, and a Rolling to Recovery inline skating marathon by Molly McMaster, a colon cancer survivor diagnosed at age 23. There are even online copies of colondars from previous years.

A great idea and a fabulous educational resource.

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