Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Dr. Appt and an Old Friend

Today I had my post-op appt. I think it will be my last appt. with Dr. Wolpert, my surgeon. We mostly talked about bowel and bladder issues. :P He said it could take 6 months or longer for my digestive system to get back to "normal" (or my new normal). But, of course, chemo could mess up everything as well. Dr. Wolpert thinks the oncologist might want to radiate the area where the tumor was. He also said that sometimes radiation in that area can mess up the bladder. GREAT! Just what I need, more bladder trouble. Mine still isn't back to normal. I will see the urologist the day after the oncologist, so I'll be sure to ask him about it, if radiation is something the oncologist even thinks is necessary. Dr. Wolpert also said, again, that there is alot they can do for colon cancer (unlike some other cancers), and we don't know if it spread beyond those 2 lymph nodes. He also said something about have a clear margin around the tumor, meaning, I think, that he got any cancerous tissue that may have been around it.
After we left I realized I didn't ask Dr. Wolpert about when I can go back to work, and if its ok if I drive. I called the clinic when I got home and Jean, a nurse, called me back. I can go back to work 6 weeks after my sugery, which is Friday April 3rd. I was thinking I can go back on the 2nd so I would work 2 days, then have the weekend. The following week is just 4 days. That way I can sort of ease back into it. (Of course this all depends on chemo). As for driving, I can drive as soon as I stop taking narcotics (Percocet), and am sure I feel up to it. If I were to get pulled over, while still taking pain meds, I could get a DUI! So as much as I'd like to be able to drive myself places, I'm not ready to give up my morning Percocet. I always start the day sore and achy, and it really helps me get moving!
This afternoon Rich and I went to Famous Dave's in Forest Lake to meet my friend Diane (the one who gave me the super-soft robe!). I haven't seen her in a couple of years. It was so nice to visit with her and meet her new hubby--who I liked very much! I hope I don't have to wait another couple of years to see her! They might eventually move to Florida--so I guess I'll just have to take some trips down there! She made me a big stained glass suncatcher--its beautiful! If anyone would like a suncatcher, or even stepping stones, she does beautiful work! I'll post a pic here eventually.
So, that was my busy day. My incision is healing well, except for 2 little spots that got infected, but the surgeon didn't seem concerned at all about them. He just said to cover them with gauze to keep them clean and dry. Yesterday I did some dusting, which involved a lot of reaching and some bending. After a while I noticed my tummy was hurting and I knew it was time to sit for awhile. I think as long as I listen to my body, I'll be fine. Hopefully the weather will get warmer, and I can get out more for walks.
Rich went back to work this week, except for the 2 days I had appts. Alyssa has been around alot, and keeps an eye on me (even tho I don't need that anymore!). I started reading "The Shack", (from Sandy) and can only read it if I have Kleenex nearby! After that I'll read the book that Bonnie and Karen gave me (the 1st of the Mitford series--I think Alyssa stole it from me!).
Alyssa has been wanting Godfather's Pizza for awhile, maybe we'll try that tomorrow for lunch!
That's all for this update! I hope to hear from some of you! I enjoy reading your e-mails!
Love and blessings to you all!
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1Peter1:6-7


  1. Invite me to lunch or suffer the consequences!

    Also, clear margins does mean they got all the cancerous tissue - the edges of the section they took out were clear of cancerous tissue!

  2. Don't worry! I was planning to invite you!!

  3. Tina, you don't know me. I found Michelle's blog in January while looking for tattoo designs to cover portacath scars. :) Anyway, I'm a lurker and poster to her blog.

    I, too, was diagosed Stage III Colon Cancer in Sept 2007 at age 45. My mom's youngest sister died in 1983 at age 29 from Colon Cancer so the family history was there.

    I had surgery right away to remove 12 inches of colon and 17 lymph nodes. Nodes were clear, which was good, but there was also a mass on my pancreas which my surgeon didn't touch (thank God) as it might have spread or he may have killed me during surgery.

    Hubby and I went to Sanibel Island, FL for a week before I got my portacath and began chemo.

    I was very sick throughout chemo but never gave up hope or being happy. I told everyone, "Cancer may kill me but I won't let it ruin my day." giggle This is me. I try to be positive and bring joy to everyone.

    So many people prayed for me. I thank God every day for them.

    After six months of chemo we followed up with another surgery to remove the cancerous lymph node which attached to the pancreas. When my new surgeon went in he couldn't find a trace of cancer. He told me it was a miracle. All pathology slides came back clear ... no cancer.

    I had my six month follow up by PET scan and bloodwork levels in January. Scan was still clear and my CEA level had gone down to 0.5! Everyone is amazed!

    So don't let anyone tell you that you can't make it! Get off the pain pills. You are stronger than that! God will get you through it and you have to believe in miracles!
    Facebook: Carol Pack Urban