Steve Scheider Every Wakeup is a Win

First post: Dec 8, 2021 Latest post: Aug 23, 2022
This post is a timeline summary of events during my battle with cancer. I have no idea how long running that this may be, but I felt that this is the least that I could do for others with colorectal cancer. My cancer, when diagnosed, is stage IV colon cancer. The cancer has metastasized to both lobes of the liver and two lymph nodes at that time. I leave this as "breadcrumbs" for others, primarily to show that this orchestration isn't easy, and it takes a crew of supporters to get you through this. 

As of Sept. 2021, a chart from the American Cancer Society's "Colorectal Cancer: Facts and Figures" shows that only 14% of those with stage IV colon cancer survive five years after being diagnosed. 

16Feb2021 -
 ... tumor ... cancer ... oncologist ... 

I perceived the words as if disembodied, feeling remorse for the poor soul that was dealt this fate. As the sedative from the colonoscopy faded, I realized that I was the poor soul. I read a bit before the procedure and I knew that cancer was a possibility. That really didn't prepare me, though. Now, I'm going through the five stages of grief at an accelerated pace - hoping that I hit surrender/acceptance by tomorrow morning.
My diagnosis by the gastroenterologist is colon cancer. The pathology came back yesterday and it confirmed that the tumor is malignant. And now I wait. Waiting for the oncologist to call and perhaps schedule an MRI or CT Scan and then an operation to remove this four inch hunk of bad tissue, as well as set me on a course to eradicate any cancer that has moved from this local area. That may involve radiation and chemo therapies. 

The symptoms began around Thanksgiving 2020. I would have frequent trips to the bathroom, sometimes with no results. That turned into occasionally passing blood. By December 28th, I was regularly passing blood and mucous, and having severe gas pains in my lower abdomen. I set an appointment with my doc for January 6th. That turned into a referral to a gastroenterologist with an entry visit on the 20th. The nurse practitioner set me up with a colonoscopy set for February 9th, but due to an insurance issue, it was delayed until the 16th. By this time, my control over my bowels was nearing incontinence, so I went on short term disability February 10th, with a current end date of 3/2. That will likely be adjusted once I speak with the oncologist.

So we wait.