OK, yesterday was a VERY bad day... not all together unknown there was a possibility it could be, but REALLY fully ensconced in denial mode. My thoughts HAD been to ask if I could go closer to home if it wasn't a "bad" one... yeah, after he talked those thoughts flew RIGHT out the door.
So, I found out in the package I had to do not one, but two enemas prior my appointment with Dr. L. OK, I said never again... but yeah, appears the butt is fair game from here on out - dang it! So... I do the first at 7am - prior to the drive.... it all worked out OK... no issues there. Then I knew I needed to do one a minimum of an hour prior - hum.. yeah, not fun. AND not convenient either as I'm on the road... so... I thought who has the best potties with BIG handicap stalls? I thought and thought on it and finally figured out we would have to eat before we went in as the appointment was at 2pm... so we may as well combine the two with the timing... so Zaxby's it is! They have BIG handicap stalls with sinks in most cases.
As luck would have it, we drove to Mayo, then did an "around me" and found one really close... got lunch, did my business and had a kids meal... refilled my water and even had time for a 1/2 hour walk around Hobby Lobby. A friend sent me a text just as we were walking around so I sent her a picture of Liz and I in the store - ha!
Mayo is very nice - why would I expect any different? Tree lined parking lots - they also have a garage and valet parking if you choose and want to spend the $$ on it. We parked in Lot A and walked in - took the long way around as I discovered later. Oh, well. It was a hot muggy walk, but a good time to stretch our legs. Then it was just a matter of checking in, getting my MRI scanned into the system... and heading up to the appointment.
Dr. L seems very nice. He wasn't happy with anything the local doc shared with him, he didn't receive the DVD with the CT scan, but still indicated he would want to do his own as the folks at the hospital here were not looking for anything and didn't SEE the large tumor growing in my rectum.
Apparently it's BIG... way bigger than I was anticipating it to be in the scans, honestly.
Here is the scan I sent to Butch, I thought it was the area in the yellow circle... and the bottom looking into it along the back wall of the rectum... uhm, yeah, no, It's what's circled in the red. Yep, that whole thing. I'll see if I can get a better cross section when I get back to the house as I have a copy of this MRI at the house as well.
Anyway, it's NOT what I thought it would be... so that was a little shocking. Then I got to do a fun little probe - manual and with a "flexible" yadayada... I didn't catch its name. I joked with Liz I should have told the doc at least buy me dinner first... but I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over well. Sigh... so they did something I thought was funny as all get out, they held up a sheet to block Liz's view (**poor Liz was my documenter and my 2nd set of ears) of me dropping my drawers down to my knees and kneeling at the foot of the lovely table they use... then the sheet is abandoned and the butt is just hanging out in full moon mode while the table that I'm now stretched out with my hands above my head, ass in the air... and facing downward with the tilt of the table.... so, yeah, thanks for holding that sheet up for the 2 seconds it took to drop my drawers then proceeding to leave my backside out there for the duration.
Anyway, the procedure wasn't as bad as the finger "probe" done prior. Yeah, there is no relaxing through that.. I swear I wanted to ask if he could remove his elbow. Sigh... so there I am butt in the air, naked from the waist down with a "drape" around my clothing around my ankle (I this s sounding like enough of a BAD position?) "just in case". So, he finally gets his elbow out of my butt... I mean really. He did comment that he felt it. Yeah, NOT proud of you for that one bud. So, next is the tool... and the air pump. GOOD LORD!!! Nothing like the screaming urgent need to defecate to wake you up to what is going on back there... and the burbling... just shoot me now!!! BUT on the silver lining part, it was MUCH less "invasive" than the finger (I'm sure it wasn't just ONE... but no proof as photos and recordings are NOT allowed (thank GOD at this point!)). So... you know me, I never shut up. I told them that they need a camera down on the table so that I can see what they are doing as well. There is a monitor on the wall above my head, but I swear I'm at a 45 degree angle head down with my drawers around my ankle, hands above your head - it's probably not that drastic of an angle, but it sure feels like that. Then you add an air pump and burbles and the feelings... and it's quite disconcerting to say the least. Yes, never have a colonoscopy while awake, I'm now 100% positive of this one!! My belly is still rumbling with gas a day later. UGH.
Again - POOR Liz!!! I told her to avert her eyes from the moon :) She however, was good to have in the room because SHE could see the screen on the wall. She got to see the beast that this is and told me even to her untrained eye it looked like cancer and looked bad. I didn't get a color description... but she drew me a picture... They took three biopsies - and I even asked to look at those - they were tiny. Like the head of a colored sewing pin small. Amazing what they can do with such a little piece of tissue.
They will be looking at that tissue for type, genetics and a number of other things. Speaking of genetics, my poor kids are getting the crappy end of this literally - they get colonoscopies starting at 35 and then every 5 years instead of 10. All first level relatives get this... so siblings and kids. Sorry folks!!!! He said this one was growing in there for like 5 to 10 years. Sigh.
OK, then he said more hateful things to me - he said chemo radiation, ileostomy, more chemo, then reconstruction. When he hit ileostomy I lost it... my vision went tunnel vision for a minute and I teared up... that was it for me... this is NOT the kind of bag lady I wanted to be, thank you very much. No, NO, NO!!!! ARGE.. all train of thought left my poor pea brain... He told me the why - there are a lot of case studies showing that it gives you the BEST chance of non-reoccurrence (yes, please). Then he added insult to injury. He didn't say it mean or anything, but he pointed out that my BMI is way too high... well, yeah, I know that... and they want me to be down a LOT lower before surgery. So they asked to put me on a medically induced diet. He explained the why... less chance of complications during surgery, less complications in general, healthier, blah, blah,blah - again, brain shut down. F*CK. Yeah, this is where the f*cks come out... So, yeah, it's not a nice diet, it's a liquid diet. And it's not for a few weeks its for 15 weeks or so... as in NO food.. just replacement shakes...for FIFTEEN WEEKS. ARGE. So... I start to wrap my head around that....I accused them of not liking me. Then I asked about alcohol. It was a resounding "NO" I do believe this is when the "you guys don't f*ing like me" came out... yikes! I mean come on!! I asked about coffee. The answer was yes, no cream, no sugar. Uh, that's NOT coffee in my book. BUT we found the silver lining there... they have a vanilla replacement shake that I can mix with my coffee like a latte. OK, I did tell her she's not quite as high on the hated list anymore.
BUT on the chemo radiation... I'm starting to lean that that is the right way from this article:
Basically gives me way better chances of non-reoccurrence. So - looking like the right thing to do... all of it's looking like the right thing to do...So... I guess this is the journey I'm on - may as well toss my hands in the air and squeal a little. It's all temporary, right? It's a year. A year to add 20 - 40 more? OK, I'm in.
And so we wait to plan and plot and scheme. I've now heard the worst (or so help me, this sure sounds like the worst). So today we feast!!! I will be eating WELL for the next few days. I think this calls for steaks tonight for dinner, what do y'all think? It actually may be Pizza from our favorite place in Atlanta if Angela will swing by there and grab one for us on the way home!! If not, maybe Friday evening I need to drive up and get one... and go to Ikea. THEN start the diet Saturday. Don't worry I have permission to hold off until then....
So the lowdown in a simple format:
1. (** start Saturday) strict liquid medically monitored diet2. (** July 5/6 at Mayo) get re-tested in EVERYHING to include:
d. Blood work
3. (** July 5) Meet with oncologist there to get oncologist here...
a. I think I have found mine here: http://www.centralgeorgiaradiation.com/ possibly Dr. Ahmad H. Al-Hajj - He actually came recommended by a physicians wife.
4. Meet oncologist here, set plan in place for treatments
5. start treatments of chemotherapy and radiation for 5 weeks
6. Rest 10 weeks
7. surgery - removal only
9. more chemo
11. one final surgery - to put humpty back together again
So only the first three have scheduled timelines for them.. but I'm trying my best to adjust to the idea of being a bag lady in the most awkward sense of the word... but this too shall pass *(yes, pun intended)