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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Big C, little c...

Big C, little c: What begins with C?

I couldn't believe it when I heard myself agreeing with my doctor. "You really need to do this", he said. "How long has it been? Never? Well, I'm going refer
you." He had referred me once before, but I conveniently forgot to call and set up the appointment.

"It's not a pleasant thing, so people tend to put it off."

I could easily agree with that.

My gynecologist had been after me too. "You are like my mother. She said she would only do it if I did."

I resorted myself and this time I called and made an appointment. Now I was committed.

"The prep is the worst part," said friends who had the test before.

The prep apparently consists of drinking 8 ounces of magic powder dissolved in 10 gallons of Gatorade or Crystal Light and locking yourself in the bathroom for the rest of the day with a large can of air freshener.

The day before the big event, I dutifully mixed my magic potion with orange Crystal Light and started drinking. Actually, it was closer to 2 quarts than 10 gallons. I started to feel nauseated after my first couple glasses, but I have a strong stomach.

As I sipped on the 8th glass, it hit me full force in the stomach. I ran for the bathroom with orange Crystal Light spewing from my mouth like Old Faithful. Orange liquid was all over my clothes, in my hair, even in my shoes. So much for my strong stomach.

"What now?" I asked.

"You have to do it again, Mom, you didn't keep enough down." said my daughter. So, another 8 oz bottle was mixed. This time I opted for plain water. It wasn't too bad, sort of like an Alka-Seltzer.

But I only got to the sixth glass before I was sick again. "I give up! I can't do this test."

The next morning I wasn't sure whether to go or to call and cancel. But I really didn't want to have to go through this again. I felt empty enough.

The waiting room at the clinic was about the size of a walk-in closet. One by one tense-faced people were called to the back. The nurse called my name and took me into what looked like an emergency room or pre-surgery ward. I had no idea this was such a big deal.

I put on my backless hospital gown and got on my stretcher while they asked me again all the questions they had asked twice before.

A sadistic nurse poked me over and over in the arm with a 2 foot needle trying to get an IV started without success. Finally, an anesthesiologist did it.

I was wheeled off to another room to meet my new specialist, with a name too close to "whoops."

"How did the prep go?" asked Dr. Whoops. I told him my story. "I have no symptoms."

But he didn't buy my excuses and I was doomed.

"We are giving you something like Twilight to put you to sleep," said the anesthesiologist. Twilight? The only time I had Twilight before was during childbirth. I hope I'm not in the maternity ward. Boy, are they going to be surprised.

"You are going to feel sleepy" he said, before I could kick him and flee for my life.

"Big C, little c, what begins with c? Cancer, clinic, cold feet, colonoscopy." I dreamed in la-la land.

Then a nurse said it was over. Liar. So, where is my baby?

Dr. Whoops came in. "Everything is fine," he said. "You don't need to come back for 10 years."

No big C, for me, only a little c.

"It's over? I can go home?"

I'm not sure if I will do it again in 10 years or not.

But I am certain I will never, ever drink orange Crystal Light again.

Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss

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