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Matt's journey started on December 19th, 2016 when he was diagnosed as critically anemic. He was admitted to St Vincent's hospital on December 20th. Matt was immediately taken for a colonoscopy. However it could only be partially completed due to a stricture in his transverse colon. What the doctor could see of Matt's colon was in bad shape due to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). All biopsies revealed high grade dsyplasia (pre-cancer cells) In the hospital the doctors told us Matt has colon cancer. They are pretty certain that beyond or within the stricture there are cancer cells.
While in the hospital Matt received two blood transfusions and an iron infusion. Matt came home for Christmas with the expectation that he would return in a couple of weeks to have his colon removed. Not wanting to rush into surgery we sought a second opinion from a doctor at OHSU. This doctor agreed with the diagnosis and that surgery was required within the next couple of weeks.
However subsequent doctor visits led to orders for CT scans and an ultra-sound to look for blood clots. Multiple clots were found on Matt's right lung and a small one in his leg. The scans also showed some very small nodules, that are concerning, but secondary to the colon surgery. Matt is now taking two shots of Lovenox (blood thinner for cancer patients) a day - Micaela is saying "welcome to my world!". The hematologist recommended waiting three months before undergoing the surgery.
This brings us to today's appointment with Matt's surgeon at St. Vincent's - given all of Matt's complications - anemia, continued slow blood loss through the colon, blood clots (caused by IBD and/or cancer) possible advancing cancer and difficulty in matching his blood type the doctor strongly recommended surgery be scheduled for mid March, so we have scheduled Matt's surgery for March 13th. This is a month earlier than standard protocol for patients with blood clot issues. However it gives us time to control the things we can, rather than risking the possibility of having an emergency surgery in the third month due to an intestinal blockage or internal bleeding.