My recent medical voyage began in late June when I presented at Foothills Hospital emergency with a ruptured appendix. A CT-scan revealed that unbeknownst to me I had probably had the condition for about a week. The decision was made to insert a drain into the infected area, leave the “deflated” appendix in place and administer massive doses of antibiotics. After six days in hospital, I was discharged and two weeks later I had the drain removed in out-patient clinic and was told that I would have a colonoscopy later in the fall, as is the practice in these situations.
About a week later I discovered pus leaking from the insertion site – not good! I returned to emergency, and after another CT scan a secondary pooling of pus was unearthed. A second drain was installed and after a short stay in hospital I was discharged and the date for my colonoscopy was established as September 18. The second drain was removed, again in out-patient clinic, after a two week stay at home.
By this time anything that happened in my lower regions set of alarms in my somewhat paranoid mind. Just before leaving Calgary with Kelly and Brooke on a road trip to Queens, I returned to emergency because of pain in my gut. A CT scan, I think I now had a machine dedicated to me, revealed that I had diverticulitis. Something new, what a treat! I started on a regime of heavy antibiotics and left for Queens as planned.
My September colonoscopy showed two small polyps which were easily removed and a larger one which was in an awkward spot in my colon and the normal colonoscopy procedure could not remove it. This one would require polyp surgery and perhaps the removal of a small piece of the bowel. The good news was that it tested benign. Stephani and I left for a four-week vacation in the UK and Southern Italy knowing that we would follow up on all of this when we returned to Calgary. Upon our return I met with surgeon who was to remove the large polyp. A second colonoscopy was scheduled for January 8 and based on the result of this second look the exact scope of the operation would be established.
On November 11 I was back in emergency with pain in my gut. I thought it was another diverticulitis attack, but a CT scan, on my personal machine, told the tale of yet another infection. Something was definitely not right! A follow up MRI revealed that I have colon cancer that has metastasized to my liver.
I have two surgeries in my future. The first is a right hemicolectomy and it is scheduled for November 24. The second, some 6 to 8 weeks after the first, will deal with the liver.
The journey continues.
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