Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Nitty Gritty

Gnitty? I don't think I've ever actually written that phrase. Anyway, I thought I would post some details about how we got to this point, and what's going to be happening.

I went to see my family doctor on August 30th, and she referred me to my current doctor. After much phone tag thanks to a mistake with our phone numbers, I got an appointment to see my current doctor. I saw him on September 8th, and after an initial exam, he suggested a biopsy because he suspected cancer. We were told it might take a week to get results, so I was surprised to get a call the next day (September 9th) with a diagnosis and outline for treatment.

When things start happening so fast, it's overwhelming. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around CANCER, I can't even hardly think about treatment.

So diagnosis: rectal cancer, which has spread to the anus (yeah, lovely, huh?)
Treatment: chemo, surgery (to remove rectum and anus)

Obviously there are little details but it's hard to get all that when you're talking to the doctor outside the Oshkosh library while your children are being watched by a friend (a million thanks, by the way). You get stuck on words like "cancer," "chemo," "colostomy bag." The plan is to have Eric also talk to the doctor. Having us both hear and understand in our different ways will be a good thing.

The plan right now is to get some tests done. I go in on September 15th for a CAT scan, chest xray, blood work, and colonoscopy. My doctor also wants to put the port in for chemo. The following Tuesday, September 22nd, I'll have a PET scan. Sometime very shortly after that I'll start chemo.

So that's where we are, and the beginnings of where we will go.

Did the doctors catch it early enough? I don't know. I went to my family doctor in what I feel was a timely manner. Things weren't right, home remedies weren't helping, I went in. She was fast to refer me. Maybe I'll be better able to answer that question after the tests. Maybe it's neither here nor there. I'd really urge anyone who has anything amiss with their ass to go get it checked out. Eric, what with all his reading, told me that 2% of people with rectal cancer are under 40. It's a common cancer, but uncommon in my age group. Listen to your body, listen to your gut. I felt in my gut that something wasn't right, that's why I went in.

I'll post more as I know more.

I continue to feel so amazingly overwhelmed with the support, thoughts, prayers, and offers of help, from family and friends all over the world.

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