The countdown to my second colonoscopy procedure is underway, only a week away. Am I looking forward to it? No. Is it necessary? Yes.

I had my first colonoscopy  five years ago, at age 53. Colon cancer does not run in my family, but other types do. A colonoscopy is the only real way to detect any kind of cancerous polyps in your colon. Yes, it's not pleasant, kind of embarrassing, and the preparation is downright nasty. But five years ago, it did catch two pre-cancerous polyps in my bowel. The recommendation is one of these exams every ten years, but since they found something previously , I get one every five.

I also think of my late co-worker, Pam Hitchcock. Pam was a self-described "four foot nuthin'" red head with a quick giggle. She was also a devoted wife and mother. Pam was 37 when she started to get flu-like symptoms that she couldn't shake. Being younger than the recommended age, she had never had a colonoscopy.

So, her stage four colon cancer went undetected until it was too late. She was gone in less than two years.

That's why I don't mind having to put up with the nasty preparation and embarrassing procedure. I think of what my friend Pam went through.

Learn more about the colonoscopy procedure here.