Colon Cancer (4/21/12)

So the symptoms didn’t go away. Bloating, cramps, constipation, and occasional blood in the stool.  These symptoms were still present. I went to my family doctor once again on 3/26/12.  He didn’t waste time in ordering a colonoscopy.  He felt that the fact that changes in my body (the testicular cancer) have happened was enough to justify checking on these symptoms further.

The colonoscopy was done 4/21/12.  Upon awaking from the colonoscopy the doctor told us he found the cause of my issues.

“There is a tumor blocking about 50% of the colon.  And I’m 99% sure it is cancer.”

“Could it be a metastasis of the testicular cancer?”

“It is possible, but not likely. Most likely this is colon cancer.  We’ll know for sure when we get the biopsy results back.”

Again, my heart sank into the pit of my stomach. I knew this feeling. It was like deja vu; Halloween in April this time.

He referred me to a colon surgeon and recommended I get this tumor removed as soon as possible.  My appointment with the colon surgeon was scheduled for 4/25.

This was a much more serious surgery than the orchiectomy.  Basically, it consisted of cutting out a section of colon and reconnecting the two remaining pieces.  I wondered if I should look for a good surgeon.  Should I trust the “small town” surgeon to do this?  How do you know if the surgeon is good?  What are their credentials? How many times have they done this surgery?

So many questions, so little time to research, and hardly any resources to help with selecting a surgeon.  That is another challenge with dealing with cancer. You fall into the medical system and you really don’t know who these doctors are and whether they are good. Or if the hospitals are good or which are the best. You are forced to pick surgeons and hospitals and sometimes these choices are done blindly and with little data.

Anyway, from what I could gather up on the web, the surgeon in Battle Creek was rated highly.  My family doctor spoke highly of him. The nurses at the hospital spoke highly of him. The doctor that did the colonoscopy said that he would be his surgeon of choice if he required this surgery.

So 4/25 came and I met with the surgeon.  He seemed confident. He answered all our questions.  He went over the biopsy results that confirmed it was colon cancer. He scheduled the surgery for Friday, May 11.

This surgery would require a leave of absence from work and would require a few weeks of recovery.

This cancer would not be dealt with like the testicular cancer.  So much for not skipping a beat.

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