Archive for June, 2010

It could be infection, or it could a tumor.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

That was a small part of the explanation Dr Piercefield gave last Wednesday when he told us the results of x-rays and a cat scan that I had taken the day before. I watched Fredi as she listened to Dr Piercefield and she never blinked an eye. I recognized that determined look in her eyes and I knew she was thinking, so what’s our next step? Fredi has survived a few major surgeries of her own and through them all she had that same look and attitude. That look is probably the only thing that helped me keep my chin up as I thought about the possible road ahead.

I initially went to see Dr. Piercefield Tuesday morning because I had suffered through a few uncomfortable days of not being able to relieve myself. By day three of no relief, I was so bloated no position I sat, laid or stood was comfortable. You could actually hear my stomach slosh as I walked. The bubbling and gurgling sounded like a volcano about to erupt. Not my stealthiest of times.

I was admitted into Emory University Hospital Wednesday and more tests confirmed that a tumor was blocking a section of my colon. It was official; I have colon cancer. The next day doctors performed a colonoscopy to get a more thorough view. During the procedure they also implanted a stint around the tumor, which allowed me to relieve myself.

During my follow-up with Dr. Willingham, who performed the colonoscopy, I thanked him and told him I vaguely remembered arguing with his team when I came out from under the anesthesia. I thought I remembered insisting I had to be somewhere. He said, “Yeah, you said you had to go to the bathroom.” Oh well, everybody knew then the stint had worked.

I’ve been recuperating in Emory since the colonoscopy and building up strength for surgery tomorrow. Dr. Staley’s plan is to snip out the blocked section, reconnect the colon and keep me here for more days of observation. I hope it is that simple.

Until last night’s dinner, when they fed me BBQ chicken and veggies with a hot roll, I had been on a clear liquid diet of broth, ice cups, jello and juice for breakfast, broth, ice cups, jello and juice for lunch, broth, ice cups, jello and juice for dinner. I can’t begin to describe how good that chicken was last night. Eating and chewing real food for the first time in days almost reminded me of standing in line at Jacque Imo’s while savoring the sweet aromas escaping through the front door. Almost.