THE BLOG

The Probiotic Candidate

05/29/2013 01:52 pm ET | Updated Jul 29, 2013

So I posted on my Facebook page the words "Twenty Years," as this is my official 20th anniversary with my wife Robin. We've actually been together since we were freshmen at Tulane, so you can tack on a few more years if you're counting along at home. As is the case whenever I start a conversation, it goes in a different direction. A significant portion of my online community mistook my 20 years to mean my cancerversary, which if you've read my previous stuff, you know I don't celebrate a cancerversary. Thank you for the nice words, regardless. We don't celebrate "days," as every day is a gift to us, although this Memorial Day was the sixth anniversary of the Dave's Not Dead Yet BBQ. If you don't get a birthday card, anniversary card, or happy world turtle card, please forgive us. Considering Robin's business, you'd think we'd do more cards, but that's for another day.

Typical anniversary celebrations consist of a peck on the cheek in the Lincoln Tunnel on the way to the Stationery Show at the Javitz Center, but this year was different, Digestive Diseases Week in Orlando (hence the AliveAndKickn Disney ears). Yeah baby, nothing says romance like colon cancer, irritable bowel (I have irritable personality disorder), GERD, and I could go on. Surprisingly, Robin passed (no, not that way) on going. I hung with my GI doctor, Blair the softest hands on the upper east side). There was no spooning.

Over several days, I met with other doctors, a whole bunch of manufacturers, some distributors, and even a few patient advocates. If there were other survivors there, I didn't find them. Sorry. So what did we talk about? We discussed Angelina Jolie and how her story came out at the same time as the webcast I did regarding patient history. Yay, notoriety! Still, the wrong part of the body for my needs, but big strides nonetheless. I talked to some friends on the genetic testing side. Maybe I'm spoiled as I have really good cooperative medical people around me, but I could not believe that doctors are still reluctant to order genetic testing for patients that are coming in younger and younger with colon cancer. Seriously? I spent some time with the PillCam group. Imagine swallowing a camera and having it take a slideshow of your innards. Still prep, but no anesthesia or potential for issues related to using a scope. Can't wait for FDA approval in the states, as it's okay internationally currently. I'd take one each day with breakfast. Imagine the conversation at parties. Instead of sharing pictures of each others' kids, you can compare colon pictures. This one was taken at the Grand Canyon. This one is from the Empire State Building. Here's my colon at Disney World. You can Photoshop some stuff in. Maybe put it on Instagram. Speaking of scopes, and there were thousands of scopes. I was looking for one that left you smelling like roses, or at least minty, but had no luck. There was one that caught my attention. In the scope world, the ability to see more is huge, including stuff behind and removing it. Hard to explain, but for those of us looking to remove Cling-Ons, things are looking up (and down, and all around). For a change, I was not asked to drop trou and hop up on the gurney. Where requested, I did give out some AliveAndKickn swag. Lots of examples of probiotics -- in yogurt (I prefer Greek with blueberries), heartburn meds, bottled water, cat food. A couple of companies indicated interest in having me (or my colon) as a spokesperson for their companies. We'll see.

I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in Sharp study hall with Dave O'Connell and Rick Von Meister, when Robin walked by, pink Bennetton sweater with the big "B" in the front, Madonna-style eighties bright red hair and penny loafers. I told them that this was the girl I would marry. Seven years later, our wedding song was Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt's "Don't Know Much." Google the lyrics.