Well, today I finally received the phone call letting me know that the biopsy of the sample they took from my colon was complete. I officially have Colon Adnocarcinoma – Colon Cancer.
I believe I wrote this before, but this next step is to begin Chemo treatments. I meet with my oncologist tomorrow where, I assume, he’ll fully outline this first step of this arduous battle. The only easy end to this is the outcome is an outcome I am not ok with, so we’ll fight long and hard.
A lot of people keep asking me what all the steps are that will lead to a healthy Matt. I honestly don’t think anyone knows that – not even the best oncologists in the field would know. I do know that the next stage is Chemo. The next would be surgery on the colon. It’s so easy and short to type out those steps but the reality is that those two steps are very long and there are so many variables and potential outcomes.
The fact is that the numbers and statistics for success for patients with my exact diagnosis – Stage Four Colon Cancer – is outright frightening. The odds of a patient being alive five years after a Stage Four Colon Cancer diagnosis is one out of every ten patients. I have absolutely, positively no reason to believe I am not that one person. I have so many things in my favor.
But the key for me is to remember that wishful thinking gets you nowhere. This is a lot of work and a lot of luck. I need to focus on the small victories. Let’s look at the Discovery and Diagnosis of my condition as the first step. I kicked its fucking ass. I felt different, sincerely different than I’d ever take felt in my fourty-one years. So I immediately went to the doctor. I got poked, prodded, scanned, emptied of my bowels so they could examine my insides, had multiple doctors make me state repeatedly “I have colon and liver cancer” and then sat around anxious and in pain waiting for the official diagnosis. Cool, so that’s a fucking victory. Go me. Let’s get the next one started.
I don’t want to think about what all needs to happen to result in me being cancer free. I want to think about how this time next week, I’ll hopefully have had my first chemo session and that the drugs my oncologist has chosen for me actually have the effects on the cancer cells he thinks they will. But those results are for another post and what seems like an eternity away until I know the answer.
I think it’s good for me, good for you, good for everyone to imagine a future, cancer free Butchie. I want to be cancer free and I want to live longer. But right now, that can’t be my focus. It seems extremely out of reach and like wasted wishes to focus on that right now. So I’m going to fight this how I’m going to fight it – and that’s one step at a time. Please join me in slowing down on the big picture planning while still visualizing the big picture goal. I know that may seem like the same thing or an abstract concept to some of you reading this, but this is the way I have to go on this journey.
Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support you’ve shown me since I decided to share my story as it unfolds. Please keep it up and pace yourselves. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Please check on Emily and her health and how she is doing – unfortunately, I won’t have that capacity in many ways as she takes on this hero role she’s chosen to take on.
Much love to you all,