A new doctor enters the fray

So, Wendy told me the object behind me was the scope the surgeon was about to use. Turns out St. Paul’s may be an old hospital, but not quite that archaic.

Dr. Carl Brown is a very thorough, very impressive, extremely experienced, cutting edge (no pun intended), gastro surgeon whom I will trust with my life without a second’s hesitation. He does more bowel cancer surgeries than any other doctor in the province and is leading the profession in the newest methods and procedures. I am in the best hands.

He wants to go in sometime at the end of January. I was initially concerned that was a long wait but he assures me that is the ideal time. I will have fully recovered from the effects of chemo and the radiation will have completed its job. As he says, the food doesn’t stop cooking when you shut off the oven. Its the same with radiation. The effects can continue for two months after the last treatment. He doesn’t want to operate until I finish cooking, I guess.

On examination by Dr. Brown and his 2nd year intern, the tumor has shrunk! What was a 2 cm gap is now 4 cm. I took that to mean what was a 9 cm mass is now more like 5. Not necessarily true according to the expert but he does say it leaves room to resect the colon and still leave everything working properly.

Over all,and despite telling me the myriad of ways he might kill me, his analysis was very positive. He said ten years ago he would have told me there was no chance of successful surgery. Today he’s pretty sure he can get it all in one operation. Still, he says, we have one shot at this. I’m absolutely convinced he is the right guy to take that shot.

We will be meeting again after I go for an MRI in early January. Meantime my job is to stay as healthy as I possibly can between now and the surgery. I’m going to try to get more exercise; build up my strength. Stay well away from germ infested environs. No air travel, unfortunately, so we are home for Christmas (sorry Shirley). Wendy and I have agreed no Christmas shopping either. It’s as though we have hit the “pause” button and are waiting to resume our lives. Personally, I would rather hit “fast forward”.

I’m seeing the Oncologist, Dr. Shan, again this morning to follow up on the planning. I don’t expect anything to happen chemo-wise until after the surgery, but I need to pick up a dose of chalk-paint to drink for my post-radiation CT scan next Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing the before and after pics! I’ll ask for copies. Does anybody else want to see them?

I feel good today, bye the way. Last night was the best sleeps I’ve had in months. All three of them. Does anyone know how to avoid waking up in night sweats? I soak the sheets and shiver myself awake at least twice a night. Poor Wendy wakes to my whimpers and curses too. We need some sleep.

Merry Christmas everyone. Damn! I’ve written a small book here. Somebody come and visit!

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