Literally, as we pulled into the parking space at the gastroenterologist’s office, the radio began playing the first few notes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ The Waiting (is the hardest part). Scott’s response, “Ha, like that song hasn’t been on a constant loop in my head for the last couple weeks!” To which I replied, “Yup, mine too, Sweetie.” Then we chuckled a little. “See,” he said, “We can still laugh.”
And yes, we could. We always can. Apparently, no matter what. And with that, we entered the medical building for our appointment to learn what was going to impact the rest of our life: the results of the CT scan done yesterday on the mass discovered during Scott’s colonoscopy.
“I’ve got good news.”
Those were the first words out of Dr Robinson’s mouth after offering us each a hearty handshake. At which point I heaved the heaviest sigh of relief ever. I think I was making up for all the breath-holding I’ve been doing since the morning of October 18.
And there was no “and some bad news” to follow. It continued to be the best news possible in this situation.
He reported that the CT scan showed no indication of Scott’s cancer having spread into the colon wall, nearby lymph nodes or liver, which was the purpose of the test to determine. That being so, he said he was no reason that Scott could not be CURED by having the affected portion of his colon removed. No chemotherapy. No radiation treatments.
We were quite stunned initially but I felt a smile coming on and a warm sense of encouragement that I hadn’t felt in a couple weeks. There have been SO many fears and concerns unearthed; wild fits of “what-ifs” experienced; numb silences endured… So all those questions scribbled in the spiral notebook I’d brought into the office were – for the most part – answered within a few moments or were no longer applicable to the situation. A couple, though, were still worth asking: What kind of cancer was this? Answer – Adenocarcinoma. It’s actually the most common type of colon cancer, being the culprit in 95% of cases. As to the question: What will recovery from surgery most likely be like? The answer indicated that it is relatively not too bad, especially due to the location of the mass in the sigmoid (lower) colon. Things can be reattached and rarely is there any change in function.
Of course, he made the disclaimer that, should the surgeon who performs the operation see something when in there that did not show up on the CT scan, that could change. But for now, we are taking this as the best, most positive report we could have received.
Excuse me while I take another deep breath. Still processing here…
Ok, so we left the office with a referral to a surgeon with whom I will make an appointment tomorrow when his office opens.
So for now, we are guardedly optimistic that this could be over and done with – just a brief, sour memory – very soon. And we’re perfectly fine with that. I have no doubt that this ordeal will stay with us forever, etching the importance of physical diligence and medical testing deeply into our psyches. Health is nothing to be taken for granted – and it can vanish in as little as one sentence spoken by the right person.
From the bottom of our hearts, I want to thank everyone who has reached out with a message, gave or sent hugs, prayers, positive thoughts or even took a second to hold a good thought for us. It’s not over but we are so deeply relieved that, not only do we know what we’re dealing with, but that it’s not as bad as it could be.