Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some Thanksgiving THAT Was!


This year's Thanksgiving left a little to be desired. Dinner for me was broth and clear liquids, followed by drinking a liter of very salty water with no flavoring added.

Y'see, my wife was laid off from her job in early November. That means our medical insurance would expire by month's end. So I knew I had to get catch up on the various tests I needed.

One of these was the fecal occult blood test, a screening for colon cancer. Unfortunately, I tested positive, which meant I had to submit to a colonoscopy to determine the cause of the bleeding.

Turns out I had some cancer cells, and I was quickly scheduled for surgery. On the day after Thanksgiving.

So now I'm recovering from surgery and doing quite well considering they removed most of my ascending colon. The cancer (adenocarcinoma, a rather aggressive form of cancer) was Stage 1 -- it didn't appear to have spread outside of a 20mm (3/4")-wide tumor. I should be OK -- for now.

The whole event was surreal -- actually getting cancer, having a piece of me removed (not just a growth, as in surgeries past) and knowing I have to be better in time to resume teaching my microbiology class in mid-January.

Also, I never felt as close to death as I did during this time. I had thoughts that I might not survive the surgery itself, and I made sure The Wiffee was up-to-date on all of the passwords I use when I pay bills online. And, of course, I didn't know what they would find after they ripped my colon out of my body.

Well, obviously I survived, I feel very little pain, and I'm mostly just tired and find I don't focus on things well right now -- like I kinda don't give a rip about anything. I'm sure that will go away in time, and I have to remember to take it easy on myself as I continue to heal from this trauma to my body.

Meanwhile, I'm still looking forward to Christmas, although I won't be physically active in going around visiting, shopping or attending events. But I'm glad to be alive, glad I didn't procrastinate any more than I did (or I could have had a very different ending to this story) and glad that God apparently wants me alive for a bit longer, to do whatever it is He wants me to do.

Maybe there's a painting I'm meant to do -- and I have to be here long enough to do it!


Cactuscat said...

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. Good luck to both you and your wife with the work situation. Hope you get to enjoy all the Christmas goodies. Looking forward to more of your blogs and paintings.

Mark J said...

Thanks, Cactuscat! I'm still moving a little slower than usual, but I'm getting there. =)