Colon cancer. GodDAMMIT! It killed my sister too.
I know it's "yucky" to think of. I know it's a horrible thing to prep for. But regular colonoscopies can save your life. I get so friggin' pissed off when I read of a death from what has become a largely AVOIDABLE cancer.
If you have colon cancer in more than one immediate family member (includes grandparents) or if any close family member developed it early in life, then at age 40.
If that doesn't apply to you, then general population recommendation is age 50.
I fell into the high risk category, so I started at age 39 because I had been planning on undergoing fertility treatments and/or getting pregnant.
You can have the procedure done under full sedation. It takes about 15 minutes. The absolute worst part of it is prepping for it, during which you can't eat anything for the 24 hours prior to the procedure and must avoid drinking anything with dark dyes (so, for example, cola is a no). But, you don't have to have it again for another 3-5 years.
Colon cancer acts very slowly, which is why regular colonoscopies are so successful at stopping it from ever forming.
"Early in life" means "50s" or "40s". I am currently 45 years old. I was 39 years old when my sister died. She was days short of 56 at the time. That's considered an "early" appearance of colon cancer.
More typical was my father's case, which appeared in his 70s or my grandfather's case, which appeared in his 60s.
This chick was, what we called in the Marines, a hardcharger. She was an original balls to the wall badass and this earth is better off having had her presence.
She captured truth and tried to live it and is an inspiration to me and my daughters. Please, learn about Margaret Gipsy Moth and keep her memory alive.
I had the honor of working with Margaret many years while she was in Houston (I was a photographer on the local newspaper). We spent many an hour talking while waiting for the photo to happen and there are few people I amired as much as Margaret, for her honesty and bravery. Many people in Houston will miss her.
Rest in peace.
I enjoyed that article save for the death and the part where CNN equated black hair with skydiving. Oy.