Wednesday, September 04, 2013

A Happier Update

Before I get to the main part of this story, I thought I should mention that it’s interesting to observe myself going through all of this.  My spirits seemed to take a significant turn for the better Sunday after an evening church service (to help Brodie make up for missing the morning service for hockey try-outs, and Sue for work).  Apart from some periods of grumpiness yesterday and today, I’ve been feeling quite a bit better.  The port is finally starting to bother me less (more itchy than painful by now).  However, my energy level seems to be attached to a yo-yo.  I get tired quite quickly/easily.  I also seem to be much more affected by low blood sugar.  If I go too long without eating, I really notice myself starting to drag.  In fact, it wasn’t until after a Peters’ burger Sunday evening that I started to pick up.  J

Today, in what seems to have become a never ending queue of trips to doctors, we went to see another surgeon.  This is the one that will hopefully cut a piece from my liver later this year.

This turned out to be a bit of an unusual visit.  It started out poorly.  We had an appointment for 11:30, but didn’t actually see the doctor until 12:45!  It’s safe to say I wasn’t particularly happy about it, and ranted to Sue at length about how they should respect other people’s time and how the medical profession should, after a week or two, learn to adjust their schedules:  if 15 minute appointments aren’t enough, adjust them to 20 minutes, etc., etc.

When the doctor finally came in he was quite business-like.  In fact, shortly after he first came in, he left again so I could change.  Sue said something like “well isn’t he personable” with all the sarcasm she could muster.  I, being a guy, said “I kinda like his interface”.  However, after he returned he quickly won Sue over with what he did and said.  First of all, he went out, tracked down a suture removal kit, and removed a couple of left-over sutures (from the port).  That blew us away:  we thought doctors delegated that kind of thing to nurses!!!  But that was only the beginning.  In our initial banter I said, off-handedly, something like “I’m dying from cancer”.  He jumped on that and said “no you’re not!”  I had to explain to him that that’s just the way I talk, that it doesn’t mean I’ve resigned myself to the fact, and that I intend to fight it as best I can.  Then, among his first words were “my goal is to cure you”.  Yes, he actually used the word “cure”.  Needless to say, we were both taken aback.  He then went on to explain the situation with my liver (two spots on two different lobes, for a total of four spots), how they were hoping the first round of chemo would shrink the tumors (especially one near some important blood vessels), and how he was really hoping to get them all with one surgery, but that he couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t take two.  If all goes well, I’ll get re-scanned in late November, with surgery in December.  His optimism was so refreshing, but what was even more important (at least to me) was how competent he seemed.  That kind of competence instills confidence in guys like me.  When we finally left two hours after our initial appointment, we were no longer quite as bothered by having had to wait.

Anyway, this battle is far from over, and the odds are still against me, but it was so nice to hear a bit more optimism.  Now if only I could get back a bit more consistent energy levels.  After all, I couldn’t play hockey or go skiing on what I’ve got in the tank these days!!!


1 comment:

koko said...

There's a wonderful support center called Wellspring. They have patient and family programs, health services, support. It's a beautiful place. There may be other people like yourself that have surmounted the challenge to keep their energy up, and would be willing to share how they did it (diet, fluids, etc).

They also have a speaker series with subjects like fatigue, coping with chemo brain fog - the extremely packed calendar of programs is here:

Here's also a specific support group:
Colorectal Cancer Information and Networking Group
The group is held the second Wednesday of the month from 10:00 to 11:30 at Wellspring Calgary

1404 Home Road, Calgary
Tel: 403-521-5292

Be well.