“Pleasant 41-year-old Male Presents For Opinion Regarding Colon Cancer” – Philip Neff, MD
Today, I met with a surgeon to discuss my options for surgery in regards to my colon cancer, hence the wonderful quote above from the surgeon’s medical notes.
Seemingly good news – after that consult and then another visit with my oncologist this afternoon, we’re all working on the assumption that I’ll be undergoing some sort of surgery to deal with the shrunken tumors in my colon and liver. We’re not exactly sure of timeline or exact path yet. The surgeon referred me for a PET scan to see if we can pinpoint and target the removal of active cancer cells through surgery – I’ve got this scheduled for Friday. He also wants me to get another colonoscopy now that my tumor has shrunk – on my original colonoscopy, the doctor couldn’t get the scope/camera past my tumor. I’m waiting for the call, but this should be scheduled for next week.
Provided this all looks like a go, I’ll most likely be having surgery within 3-5 weeks. Surgery should hopefully buy me a few extra years, so I suppose the trauma of being sliced open and in the hospital for a week of recovery will be worth it. This will be a first step in our aggresive assault on the cancer – I’ll most likely need ablation, radiation and/or more chemo after surgery.
My oncologist and I decided it would be best for me to cancel the 10th chemo session I had scheduled for tomorrow. Last Tuesday, as a result of the building toxicity from treatments, I developed some sores on my tongue that were excruciating. They throbbed and constantly hit my teeth, sending out a shooting pain that kept me awake at night and made eating/drinking/swallowing extremely difficult. Eventually, pain killers and a lidocaine mouthwash helped me get over the hump. Adding in the potential surgery, foregoing this 10th chemo session works out great timing-wise, as we want my blood count levels to build and for me to be healthier than I am when I’m on chemo to help my post-surgery recovery.
I’m not going to lie, I’m very (pleasantly) surprised to be here at this point. My oncologist really tempered my expectations on getting to this point, so I’ve been extremely cautious in my optimism. I’ll update again when the outline of our plans and a timeline becomes more clear.
Thank you again to everyone for the continued thoughts, prayers and support. Hopefully I’ll feel a little better between now and surgery and will get back to all calls I’ve been ignoring, thanks for understanding.