In June, my doctor ordered a number of tests in conjunction with my annual physical. One of them showed blood in my stool. I didn't believe it because I hadn't seen anything unusual and had no symptoms. I was certain the test was a false positive. He ordered labs and my cancer marker was elevated. Then he ordered a colonoscopy, but I was concerned because I had been told several years earlier that routine colonoscopies were risky at my age since it was easy to rupture the colon wall. The doctor persuaded me it was necessary and then, when the facility said they couldn't schedule me for a couple of months, he asked them to do it sooner. It was scheduled for August 8, a Tuesday.
My daughter Mistie, who lives in China but stays with me twice a year when she's in the U.S. , decided to cancel her trip home to stay and help me. While I was still in the procedure room, the doctor told her there was a 3-4 centimeter (about 1.5 inches) mass in my transverse colon and it was cancerous. He'd taken a biopsy but wouldn't have results for a few days, nevertheless, his office began to take the steps necessary for surgery. By Friday, when the biopsy came back positive, I already had appointments for a CT scan on Sunday evening and an office visit with a surgeon on Monday.
Everything was complicated because Terrie, my other daughter, a retired nurse who usually provides medical expertise, was having a hip replacement in Oregon. Mistie and I had planned to drive up and help her after surgery.