I was due for a Colonoscopy procedure and had already scheduled an appointment. I had a gut feeling that I was overdue...actually, I was overdue...by one year. You can't let these things linger. If the doc says "come back in two years," HE MEANS TWO YEARS! The doc found some polyps and removed them for further examination by a lab. One of the polyps could not be removed...it had somehow become "flattened" and could not be excised. He scooped off a sample of it to send with the others. Within two days, I got the call...I had the "Big C" and it needed to come out. I was lucky. I didn't have to lose the whole food processor, just the portion that was diseased.
I met with the surgeon...let's call him Dr. McDreamy #1. We set the date for the surgery. I took some vacation time...and sick leave...and some more time to recover from the procedure. I loved having an excuse to just lay around and be waited on by others. Within a week, I was bored to death! I saw Dr. McDreamy #1 a week later to follow up with the healing process. I know he told me all kinds of things in the hospital, but I cannot be held responsible for remembering any of it while I was on meds! His assistant told me to see an oncologist. I guess this is normal practice for someone who has anything with cancer removed. There might be stragglers hanging about. Let's get them now!
I loved meeting Dr. McDreamy #2...the oncologist. He explained what he had observed from the surgical report. He even drew pictures on the back of my paperwork. I was impressed! Chemo was an option. It looked like the only option for me. I thought about getting a second opinion, but I really wasn't in the greatest of shape to be going to appointments, even if I could get them within the same month! I was there; I just said "let's do it!"
Chemo was fun....says no one! At first, I let them use a vein in my arm. This was not a good idea. I have skimpy veins. I had already turned down the "port" scenario...I just couldn't wrap my head around it. Well, guess what? After losing the feeling, then feeling nothing but agonizing pain in my arm from the first round, the port started to look like a very good option. Another hospital procedure with Dr. McDreamy #1. I enjoyed this!
I was originally scheduled for six rounds, but then they were cut to four. I was pleased as I didn't think I could go through all of the side effects for that length of time. I was lucky that I did not lose my hair; it just thinned out a bit. I was lucky that I never vomited spontaneously, as others told me I would. I was not so lucky with the depression, loss of appetite, and never allowed to be more than 60 seconds from a bathroom. Most times I made it in time, but not always. I was lucky to have a husband who continuously held me up with his positive attitude and did anything and everything for me. I was lucky, also, to have BFFs that wouldn't leave me alone more than a day or two without making me laugh, providing me with great reads, and lending their ears for those days of whining.
As the fourth round approached, Dr. McDreamy #2 gave me the choice of whether or not to participate. I had hit the bottom of the barrel, physically and emotionally. I was actually sick of watching "Let's Make a Deal" day after day! I said, "no more." He said, "okay." I was trembling from the fact that I actually stood up for myself. I felt a sense of relief and serenity as I walked out of the office. I followed up with a scan which came back clean. Yay! I had the port removed by Dr. McDreamy #1. Yay! I began taking steps to get my life back...YAY!!
It's been a year since the surgery. I just had a new Colonoscopy which came back clean. The CT scan of two weeks ago came back CLEAN! Dr. McDreamy #2 gave me a high five and told me to come back in four months. My life will never be the same, but I'm here, and that's a good life to have!
I don't know if the "fall" had anything to do with the flattened polyp, which led to the surgery. It doesn't matter. Cancer can get to anybody. I thank God for the doctors, researchers, financial donors, and survivors, all of whom give of their time to pave the way for the much needed cure for this beast. I believe it will happen.
This post is dedicated to Tootsie, my walking buddy, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in March.
Thanks for stopping by today. Please visit Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop here to read some great stories of a few of her friends!.