Matinum

Taking Charge of Your Health


I had a preconceived notion about the prep
for the colonoscopy. And was a little unclear as to the procedure itself. And maybe I had
some preconceived notions that I would be uncomfortable with it. Now after the fact,
the procedure itself is really nothing. It’s very easy. My surgeon wanted me to come in for an appointment.
And at that juncture I knew something was up. The doctor says to me that the biopsies
had come back and they were cancerous. In addition to the problem that I had in my colon,
the MRI and CAT scan also picked up two or three spots on my liver.
It’s a little bit of a blow because it’s the unknown. You’ve heard about it, but
it’s always somebody else, and not you. Getting the diagnosis itself was a situation
where you say, “Well now that I have this knowledge, we have to move forward to deal
with it.” And so it was what it was. And if that was what the report was, that’s
what the report was. And so the journey began. I did chemo, I did 25 radiation sessions,
had an operation—a major operation—came out of that. Restarted another 9 sessions
of chemo. You’ve got to get some exercise every day. And I don’t care if it’s just
walking down the block and walking back, or around the block. You have to get out and
move even when you’re not feeling well. Most kind, most generous, most helpful. Even
on the days that I wasn’t there if I had a problem, I could call them to say I was
having this problem, what should I do. I was made comfortable every day. I owe them more
than I could ever say. Having the colorectal surgeon was important
to me. But I knew that a centimeter, a millimeter either way here or there could make the difference
between being able to reverse the ileostomy later or having the thing permanent for the
rest of your life. I think mental attitude is a very large part of the process. If you
give in to this whole concept of the cancer word, it will lead you down the bad path.
And in the final analysis, knowledge is power. And that will give you the best opportunity
to make the best choices on your particular situation. The best thing that I could do
was stay as strong as I could stay and put one foot in front of the other and begin the
journey.

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