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Blame the Tornado

Well it's been quite the couple of months since my last entry. I was planning a big plastic floopy-skin removal surgery for the 15th of this month. Then I got the big bad news.

I blame the Tuscaloosa tornado for this. My primary care doc was located in Tuscaloosa. After moving an hour away, I continued to go back to her for my primary care. She became a real friend over the years, and between her OB/GYN and family practice, she covered all bases. But about a month after the April 27th tornado tore up the town, her partner dropped dead of a sudden heart attack while moving back into her rebuilt house. My then doc retired.

So I found a new primary care doc right here near home. I went to my first appointment in late September, and she scheduled me for a bunch of routine lab work. After getting my family history, she set me up for y first colonoscopy as well.

Cue dramatic music.

As soon as I was lucid from the colonoscopy anesthesia, the GI doc told me that he found a large tumor in my sigmoid colon, and that he was 100% sure by looking at it that it was colon cancer.

That was around October 11, and on the 18th, I was admitted to the hospital for my laparoscopic surgery. They ended up having to open me up, though, and removed the entire section of my colon where the tumor had taken up residence. I've had all the pathology now, and am awaiting results on a few genetic tests which I should get next week. My prognosis is good. Stage IIA. I'll find out later this week about additional treatment (chemo), but my lymph nodes came back clear, and there's no sign of metastasis.

I snapped right back from surgery, for the most part. My re-plumbed insides are...different. Let's just say I have to stay close to a restroom until things settle in. I've been joking that whatever they took out of me also included my "git-r-done bone" because I have become way too happy to veg in my recliner watching stupid TV. But after a month off work, I returned last week, mostly working from home for now.

Without a doubt, the hardest thing about having cancer so far has been talking to people about it. I have a wide circle of caring friends, and to a one, they all had questions about the dirty details. I got tired of talking about it, telling the same story over and over. Most of all, I got tired of fielding questions that I had no answers for. Boy, did I learn a lot about how I will treat the next person who tells me they have cancer! I know I've been the same kind of unintentional pest, and now that I know that it feels like from this end, I will never do that again!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have been trying to build my repertoire of ass cancer jokes (not as easy as it should be). At work, we got rid of a real a$$hole when one of our managers left about a year ago. Now that the top job in our office is open, he's put in to come back. Since he is such a monumental and epic a$$hole, we all hope he will not succeed in his evil plan to return and run us into the ground. I thought it called for a T-shirt:


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2011 07:47 am (UTC)
Excellent T-shirt slogan. Goes great with your excellent sense of humor.
Nov. 28th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
Happy to see an entry, sorry about the contents therein. Hope you're feeling stronger every day. I'm sure your fur kids have been helping you to recover. Love the T-shirt!
Elayne M
Nov. 28th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
I only know you from Robyn's site, but you are in my thoughts and whatever passes for "prayers" from this atheist. I have been putting off my own colonoscopy; I guess I better get to calling for that appointment...

Don't necessarily blame the colon surgery for the loss of your git-r-done bone, though - from what I've seen, they tend to start evaporating around age 35...

If you feel up to it sometime, I'd be interested in learning what not to say/ask/do - I know the basics but the fine points of "caring without pestering" are always worth learning.

Best wishes for everything!
Dec. 6th, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
Thoughts and prayers are with you
Hi Kathy! Glad to see you posting again. I have been wanting to check in with you and see how you are but didn't want to be intrusive. I always want to ask people I know that are going thru this kind of thing - to some how say, I am thinking ot you and really hoping you are ok! But it just never seems like the right moment. It would be nice to hear your perspective on what you would have welcomed. How can someone convey their feelings without making the "patient" feel uncomfortable?

I have an older brother with colon cancer and because of his diagnosis I was told that they wanted me to do the full monty post haste (protocol says 10 years before your relative was diagnosed for the base screening were were quite a bit past that).

I dreaded it, but honestly, it wasn't SO bad. Obviously, it would have been a lot worse had they found something. They gave me happy juice but I was awake through the whole thing - so to those of you that need to get one done. Fear not! If Kathy and I can do it - you can too! Mammograms too!

Much love and compassion your way,
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )