Last Wednesday morning I received a diagnosis of colon cancer.
I won’t lie to you I’m still processing the news and desperately looking for an up-side. Caught Early, that’s good, mine’s highly curable they say. Ninety-two percent from what I’ve read.
This whole saga started ten years ago with my first colonoscopy. (Those of you who are more – ahem – mature, know what I’m talking about.) After the twenty minute procedure, I had a ‘come back in ten years’ result. Yay! I’ll take it! Especially since my husband is one of those, he calls himself a polyp farm, who gets to do this every couple of years or so.
I was luckier than that.
Fast forward a decade. During my annual physical the end of June last year, the doctor ordered a certain test for me to do at home. Those results were negative all across the board as it were. I’m home free!
She ordered a colonoscopy anyway. Whatever.
Silly me, I put off scheduling the thing. I had reasons. I was busy. There was a month long work commitment I’d previously agreed to. In and around that, I had a book to write. After that, summer was winding down and my husband and I wanted to get some use out of our new fifth wheel. Then fellow Rose Diane Burton invited me to join her at a week end writer’s conference. Another long term, if temporary, employment opportunity came my way I couldn’t turn down. As I said busy.
In October, I finally did call the physician group I’d been referred to four months before only to learn they were closing one office and would open another one in January. (Was the universe trying to tell me something?) Should I wait until the first of the year or see about referral to another group? When I posed that question to the receptionist at my doctor’s office, I got a very polite – well duh – it’s not a good idea to wait response and a new referral.
Soon, I had an appointment for the dreaded screening procedure. Would you believe the very next day they called to push the appointment out another couple of weeks to the middle of November. Something about double booking.
At long last the day of my appointment arrived and I had the thing completed, where they discovered a rather large polyp, but could only take out part of it. For some reason, immediately after this doctor strongly suggested surgery. “Then you’re done with it and it’s gone.” That was the route I took, even after the subsequent lab results on the nasty specimen came back non-cancerous with the recommendation to simply have a repeat colonoscopy in another year.
Though I really didn’t want to, I stayed with the surgery option, at this point scheduling out another month until the holidays were over. After all, who wants to be in the hospital at Christmas? With the upcoming surgery on my mind the whole time, we got through November and December.
All along, both doctors stressed they believed this was nothing more than a benign growth with the potential to become a problem. On the off chance there was something there, I was told, the surgical technique was the same as if it were a known cancer. All of the growth would be removed along with some of my digestive tract and a number of connecting lymph nodes. This was done and all 22 of mine came back negative, that’s good! Mine was a surgical cure. No further treatment needed. Here’s hoping. Doesn’t make it any less scary. Though I regret my cavalier attitude in putting the test off initially, I am so glad, for whatever reason, I was steered to the surgery.
A writer friend had the same thing seven years ago and she’s just fine. Even though a blood test and CT scan and visit with an oncologist are in my near future, I have to believe I will be equally fine as well.
Which is good, because as I said before, I’m busy.
On the Surface, Book One in my Brothers in Blue series with The Wild Rose Press is in production and I have edits to return. On the Force, Book Two is in rewrites and due in October.
Plus, a former editor of mine asked me to be part of an upcoming box set of stories that take place in and around a casino. It just turns out I have a half finished project the will fit that bill just fine. I think I’ll call it Give Us A Chance.Then there are two more Brothers in Blue books, yet to be written, On the Make and On the Move due in 2018 and 2019.
Again. Busy. Even so, positive thoughts and prayers are welcome and encouraged.
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and my stories, please visit my WEBSITE