Monday, October 20, 2008

The Worst Day of My Life

I had been having "issues" with my bowels for awhile. After researching on the web extensively, I figured it was lactose intolerance (like Dad), Crohn's disease (unlikely), ulcerative colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I thought ulcerative colitis was possible, given my stress levels and being fat and out of shape. IBS was probably most likely, as something like one in six people get it at some point in their lives.

In August, it started getting to the point where it was hurting to go and I had to do something about it, so I made an appointment with my doctor. This would be the first time I'd seen him since December of '06, but I've always been healthy, no big deal. We had a short conversation, he took some blood, and ordered some stool tests as well. Basically they tested for Crohn's, parasites, blood in the stool, all that stuff. It all came back negative. After several weeks, I finally made a follow-up appointment, this was for the week of October 13. He marginally remembered me and ordered a colonoscopy for the following Monday, October 20.

I went in figuring they would find nothing, it would be IBS, and I would be screwed, because there is no treatment. Boy was I wrong. When you go in for colonoscopy, they basically put you out and you wake up immediately after it's over. You hang for about 30 minutes while your head clears, then you discuss the results with the doctor. The doctor (I still have a mental block on his name) came right out and told me I had colon cancer. Julie was with me, we didn't say a word. He started describing the tumor he'd discovered, all the while I was thinking, "I can't have cancer, I'm only 45 for God's sake", "what am I going to do now?", "is there enough insurance?".

So here we are. I have cancer. Life went from good to suck in 0 seconds flat. I guess I can either whine and cry and scream "why me?", or I can deal with it. I am chosing to deal with it. I will not let this destroy my sense of humor or my optimism for the future. Even if it kills me, I am not going to spend my last days in a fit of depression and self-pity.

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