Today is Thursday, March 12. We got home from the hospital last night at about 7, almost exactly 4 ½ days after arrival. Pretty good time, really, on the short end of the range (5-7 days). There were no complications, not a single setback, everything went exactly according to plan. Kinda scary, really, makes you wonder when the train is going to come off the tracks.
I plan to spend the next few days watching B movies, working a little bit to stave off boredom, and resting. Nice thing about my job is that I can work without being discovered. As long as I don't answer emails, I'm "out of the office". But I can get just as much, if not more, done from home as from the office. Plus it's always good when your work is also your hobby, it never really feels like "work".
The only bit of bad news came yesterday from the pathology lab on the tissue that was removed. They removed 16 lymph nodes along with the section of rectum/colon. The tumor had gone completely through the wall of the rectum (we already knew that), but the surrounding tissue was clear. Of the 16 lymph nodes, 2 had cancer in them. That moved my previous Stage 2 (T2N0M0) - Dukes B1 rectal cancer to Stage 3 (T3N1M0) - Dukes C2. What does that mean? Not much really. It means that statistically I have a lower 5-year survival rate, and a higher probability of future recurrence. In my opinion, though, the difference is negligible. Like Samuel Clemens said, there are 3 types of liars; Liars, Damn Liars, and Statisticians. With the rapid advances in cancer prevention and treatment, I don't know that it's valid to project survival rates from 20-30 years ago to current cancer victims.
In any case, it's good to be home. I thank all of you who are following this little adventure of mine and have given me well wishes and prayers. I truly appreciate it.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Well, it's Monday, Saturday was the big operation. I was up walking for the first time today, took a couple laps around the ward. I'm doing very well, a little ahead of schedule according to my surgeon. I feel ok for the most part, there are moments of excruciating pain, but mostly it's just an annoying dull ache. It's obviously hard to move. The incision runs from just below the sternum to just about the bikini line (yeah, like me in a bikini is an image you really want in your head). The prognosis is good, everything is going according to plan. Now we're just waiting for everything to heal up enough to go home.