I will be going in for surgery early Friday morning at OHSU. We believe this is a relatively early stage cancer, and pending post-operative assessment the current plan is that to be the primary treatment. I do not expect chemo or radiation therapy unless the surgeon discovers more cancer than currently expected.
I will be recuperating in the hospital for four to seven days, then home for seven to ten days. lasirenadolce will have the keys to this blog, and will post regular updates, as well as appropriate witticisms from me, and general hospital humor.
If you're moved to send me gifts or flowers while I'm in durance medical, I really appreciate that, but I'd strongly prefer a donation to the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund. (http://osfci.org/clayton/index.html) That's an emergency medical fund for Pacific Northwest writers experiencing medical-related financial difficulties.
When possible I'll be back. Due to an extensive schedule of pre-op consults, expect light blogging tapering to nothing more from me for a while starting Friday.
More details for the morbidly curious:
lasirenadolce and I spent 2.5 hours with the colo-rectal surgeon, another surgeon and a med student. After various unpleasant preliminaries (which would normally require a nice dinner and two bottles of wine to talk me into) we had a very detailed conversation about the cancer, the treatment, side effects, long term expectations and so forth.
The net-net is they will be taking my colon from about the ten centimeter point (the top of the rectum) up to the far end of the sigmoid. This will also take a network of blood vessels, lymph vessels and six lymph nodes. Colonic tissue will be assessed by the pathology lab, as well the lymph nodes. If, as expected, the nodes (especially the most distant ones) are clean, and the colonic tissue has clean margins, we are done with the cancer then. I will not be considered cured until after five years of close followup.
That is considered to be by far the most likely outcome.
I will be seeing a cardiologist tomorrow for a pre-op heart assessment, as well as my therapist tomorrow. Sometime tomorrow or Thursday I will also have the pre-op anaesthesia consult. I will be reporting for surgery at 5:30 am Friday, and will be operated on some time Friday morning, coming out late morning. (Exact time is subject to change, but Adrienne will have all critical updates.)
I expect to remain in the hospital four to seven days post-op, then recover at home another seven days or so before resuming normal activities on a somewhat reduced schedule. By July I expect to be back to my normal levels of energy.