Friday was colonoscopy day.
Nancy takes such good care of me. I came home Thursday night to begin my prep work and she had made sure there was a brand new roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. I cannot tell you how often I thought of Nancy’s generosity during my prep work. 🙂
Honestly the hardest part of the test was getting to the office by 8am. I had to be up at 1am to complete round two of my prep and got very little sleep. I am not normally a morning person. It was still dark out when Nancy and I left the house and headed off to the doctors.
The test was a breeze. Everyone was very nice and extremely helpful. I think I traumatized the poor nurse who came to set up my IV. He came by my bed and said, “so, you are having a colonoscopy today…that is smart.” Not sure how to reply I said, “I guess so.” “No, it really is. If they find something early they can treat it.” I chuckled. As our conversation continued I explained my story and that I already knew what my test results were going to show. He got very quiet and said good luck before heading off to the next patient.
What did it say?
As I woke up there was a nurse nearby. She came over and started talking. “Well, everything is normal.” Nancy was out in the waiting room, she is my second set of ears in these situations, so I could not look to her for clarification. Still groggy from the anesthesia I was convinced I had not heard her correctly. I asked her again, “What did it say?” She looked at me funny, as if to say why are you arguing with this result and said, “Normal, absolutely normal”.
By that time Nancy had made her way back and we sat there trying to figure out what this all meant. I had prepared myself to see the Cancer that has ravaged my body these past months and now was being told my colon looks normal. For months my oncologist and I had talked of potential blockages and what we would have to do when that happens. The nurse was telling me everything was normal.
A few minutes later my gastro-intestinal doctor came out and we talked for a few minutes. She had looked at my colon from one end to the other and “found no lesions”. Her official report reads, “The entire examined colon is normal on direct and retroflexion views.” When we pressed her as to what this means she gave a couple options. One, the cancer in the colon has been treated by the chemotherapy. Two, the cancer is on the outside of the colon or in the appendix.
Later in the day I talked to my oncologist’s office. I wanted to hear how they were interpreting the results. They had seen the test results. My nurse practitioner was happy for me and in her opinion my body had responded to the treatments and the cancer in my colon was now gone.
To be honest I was not sure how to think about things. I have spent much of today thinking about how this changes things. Over the past few months when Nancy asked, “Do you need anything?” My response would often be, “Yes, I need a new colon.” So much of my life these past months has been wrapped up in this colon cancer journey it was kind of unsettling (in a good way) to hear my colon was normal.
What I am about to say may sound strange, but it is honest. Over the past few months I have come to peace with my cancer. I have learned to be at peace with that reality and have worked to live well in the midst of it. That process was not easy. There were seasons of grief, anger, mourning, frustration, hopelessness to work through before I knew even the hint of peace. Listening to that nurse tell me my colon appeared normal was both amazing and traumatic. Amazing because I never expected to hear those words, I had prepped for the worst. Traumatic because my whole frame of thinking was just turned upside down. It took so much work to get through the valleys and to my place of peace even this great news felt threatening.
The Journey Continues
Now, this great news does not mean the fight is over. The cancer had spread to my liver and we need to see that continue to disappear. Over the past few months the lesions on my liver have been shrinking with each scan.
I return to my oncologist in five weeks. Before I go back there will be another scan.
Thank you for all your prayers. It means a lot to know that so many people have been lifting Nancy, Joe, Rayann and myself up as we walk this journey.
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME….ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD