Things Not Said

Let’s not think of this as me leaving things out, or trying to conceal or hide anything. Rather, me just taking my time to reveal all the details. Kind of like Burlesque Story Telling. You know… that might make a better title than Things Not Said. Need to think about that one a bit. Don’t feel bad or take it personally, I didn’t even get the full story when all of this went down. It also took a fair bit of time to get all of the information from all of the various doctors that I’ve been dealing with. Enough of that for now.

My Surgeon removed the mass that was causing my blockage, as well as 14″ of my colon. I took to calling the mass Seamus. Looking back, I really should have named it Gandalf. I’ve  the name Kuato suggested as well. Since it’s my mass, Seamus will do. Well, apparently Seamus took a parting shot at me, as if starving me half to death wasn’t enough. Based on the pathology repoort, Seamus was malignant.

That wasn’t the result that we were looking for. As a matter of fact, we were pretty optimistic that everything was OK and that Seamus wasn’t the mean drunk that he ended up being. I mean, I knew I wasn’t pregnant. Crisis adverted. Ok, I was pretty sure I wasn’t pregnant. My daily bloodwork showed that my white blood cell count was normal. A whole host of other things that we were keeping an eye out for all looked fine.

We kinda figured that if things weren’t OK the Surgical Residents that saw me every morning, the Hospitalist that stopped by in the afternoon, the Surgical Harpies (I mean other members of the Surgical practice) that stopped by every afternoon; I mean, someone would have mentioned it, right? “So, let’s take a look at your staples today. How’s your pain? How are you eating? Do you feel nauseous or like you need to throw up? You have cancer. Be sure to get up and walk around today, that will help your incision to heal.”

Well, my surgeon took a couple of days of leave after he stitched me back up. Now, I don’t begrudge him a bit. I really like my surgeon and am appreciative of the work that he did, the Surgical Harpies, not so much. While he was on leave, the other docs that saw me on a daily basis all thought that one of the others had that conversation with me. “Which way did he go? Which way did who go?” Pretty much how that went down. So, after my wife and I pestered for the results of the biopsy for a few days we got the news.

That took a little bit to sink in.

There was good news, and the Hospitalist that broke the news to us was very positive. My margins were clear. At 14″ the margin should have been clear for crying out loud. A dozen lymph nodes were removed and looked at; they were clear as well. No history of Colon Cancer in my family. I’m young (relatively) for Colon Cancer; it’s typically found in patients that are in their 50s and older. Ton of things going my way.

So, it’s with all of these things going through my noggin that we met with the Oncologist. We were taken a little bit back when she said that she had appointments book for me already to start Chemotherapy. How it goes down is that while I have some things that are going my way; given my young age and some other things I’m at a high risk of reoccurrence of Cancer. I honestly appreciate the Oncologist being aggressive. I’m just not thrilled with six months of chemo, twice a month. Oh yeah, that’s once my wound gets all healed. Here’s the kicker. I’m doing chemo, to kill off any loose cancer cells that may have gotten dislodged or broken off and are floating around in my blood stream. To counter this threat, chemo needs to be started within three months of surgery. So, I’m roughly a month out of surgery already (my clock is ticking like this). After three months, anything floating around will find a place to hang out and future hilarity can ensure. Now, that is assuming that I can tolerate/finish 6 months of chemo. One of the side effects of the drugs is neuropathy. One of the side effects of my diabetes is neuropathy. Wait, huh? The chemo is going to raise my chances of developing neuropathy, as well as the usual cast of characters: loss of appetite (not again), thinning hair, etc.

It’s a bit of a race at this point. Will my wound heal in time for me to start chemo? Are there any cancer cells floating around my body looking for a home, maybe just a couch to crash on for a few months? Tune in next week to find out if our hero can defeat Seamus and the Legion of Malignant Cells.

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