Covering myself with a blanket on the couch Tuesday evening, I had a hard time getting myself to stop shivering.

Yes, we’re in the midst of a cold spell but the house seemed warm enough. The frigid condition was actually due to the “beverage” I had been drinking — 2 liters of icy cold “prep solution” over a two-hour period. The following morning, I had to finish off the remaining 2 liters in preparation for my trip to the Samaritan Endoscopy Center.

It was my decision to drink the prep solution cold — I’m just not a big fan of room-temperature beverages. But yes, this was all part of the colonoscopy experience.

I’m not here to discourage anyone from getting a colonoscopy. These screenings can detect colon cancer early and save your life. Since I have a history of colon cancer in my family, it was important for me to go through with this procedure.

Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the country. It’s the third-most common type that afflicts both men and women. I’d venture to guess that most of us know someone who has been impacted by colon cancer — some of us losing family members.

Early detection is the key. 

Following the colonoscopy on Wednesday, my gastroenterologist said he had removed one pre-cancerous polyp and I don’t need to have another screening for five years.

The actual procedure wasn’t that big of a deal. Once you get past them putting the IV in your arm, you just answer a lot of questions, have a chat with the anesthesiologist and get wheeled into a cold room (but if you want, they’ll cover you with a warm blanket).

The anesthesia worked very fast, you’re asleep and you wake up pretty fast with the doctor telling you how things looked in there. I think the whole procedure took no more than 20 or 30 minutes. I got a little cup of grape juice to quench my thirst, put my street clothes back on and got a ride home.

Oh yeah, we stopped at Togo’s for a sandwich — I hadn’t eaten any solid food since 5 p.m. the previous day.

In hindsight, it wasn’t that big of a deal and I’m glad I went through with it because that polyp could’ve turned into something very bad. The most challenging part for me was just drinking the prep solution while trying to write Tuesday night basketball stories.

Colonoscopies are typically recommended starting at age 45 (or younger if there’s a history of it in your family). The recommendation used to be age 50 but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered the screening age a few years ago.

There are other ways to test yourself, including a home stool sample process, but of course, those decisions should be discussed with your doctor. I had asked about the home test but with my age, the history in my family and a previous digestive tract issue, the colonoscopy was the way to go.

Thank you to the Samaritan Endoscopy Center folks for helping me feel at ease during the screening.

2. Day of bouncing

My wife and I have enjoyed getting to know Rick and Danielle Bennett over the past few years. The Philomath couple for the past two decades has been running S&K Inflatable Rentals.

My son had his fourth birthday party at their Wacky Indoor Bounce location in Corvallis and the kids had a great time. After they had all of the bouncing they could handle, we went into a party room, had cake and opened presents.

A few days ago, I wrote a preview article about Saturday’s “Oregon’s Largest Indoor Bounce Park” at the Benton County Fairgrounds. I hope you’ll consider taking the kids (and yourselves — adults can do stuff, too) in support of this business. The tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate (cash only). You can also play Gellyball, which has become a popular form of fun, for $5 per game.

The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs to 4 p.m. The snack bar opens at 10:30. The organizer advises people to wear layers for warmth — the indoor Benton Arena venue is dry but it also has limited heat.

Rick Bennett has been a longtime supporter of the PYAC Carnival here in town. He donates those inflatables to help the youth organization raise important amounts of money. I’m mentioning this again because I’m hoping folks will recognize his generosity and try to help support his business through Saturday’s event (and yes, the pandemic was not kind to his type of business).

3. Kicker tax rebate

Based on Gov. Tina Kotek’s proposed budget for the 2023-25 biennium, it appears that the state expects to send about $3.7 billion back to taxpayers in the form of the “kicker” tax refund. The kicker is triggered when the state collects more in revenue that it budgeted.

Senate Republicans praised protection of the kicker:

“According to the most recent revenue forecast, Oregon families will receive an average of $5,200 back on their taxes in the form of a surplus credit known as the ‘kicker,’” Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said through a press release. “I’m relieved to see that the governor’s proposed budget doesn’t pull money from the kicker — it’s the right thing to do.”

Knopp said he plans to propose that Oregon taxpayers receive their kicker rebate “as a check this year, instead of issuing it as a credit to be used when people file their tax returns in 2024,” OregonLive reported.

Oregonians who are experiencing financial hardship must certainly like hearing about this news on the kicker with inflation a very real thing in people’s lives. It will be interesting to see what happens with it.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.