Rich Edwards

First post: Oct 12, 2021 Latest post: Apr 2, 2022
In early March 2019 Rich went for his 50 year old colonoscopy after the script sat around for about a year. This was just a week before everything shut down due to Covid. Not sure what prompted him to follow-up and get checked, but we are so thankful he did. They found a lesion in his lower colon. Things happened very quickly from there. Scans, surgical consultations, and finally surgery. The plan for early colon cancer is surgery only. They didn't recommend chemotherapy or radiation. However, the surgery was postponed twice due to Covid. The first time because the surgeon was exposed, the second time because the surgeon tested positive. By that time the hospital postponed all surgeries. The surgeon appealed to the hospital and Rich had his surgery on April 9th, 2020. The hospital was empty and he was just one of two surgeries on the board that morning at Christiana. I was allowed to wait in the surgical waiting room and see him in recovery for 15 minutes and wasn't going to be allowed to visit at all after that. The surgery was explained like this.... we're going in there and cutting that piece out sewing it back together and you'll be on your way. The plan was to do this laparoscopically and supposed to take 2 hours. Once the surgeon got in there, he was unable to get everything laparoscopically and they had to open him up midway through the surgery. I found that out 6 hours later, but the surgeon was confident he got everything and it would just mean a slightly longer recovery and hospital stay for Rich. He was in the hospital for 7 days and spent Easter Sunday with the nurses. Fortunately, one of his old softball players was a nurse on his unit and he had someone to talk to. He came home and recovered over the next 6 weeks and everything seemed like it was going as planned. He was able to work and coach softball over the summer. He followed up with the doctor and got bloodwork every six weeks. Rich was supposed to get a CT and PET scan in March 2021, but Covid pushed those appointments back a bit. Early June 2021, cancer markers came back slightly elevated (4.2) and Rich was able to get in for scans quickly. The scans indicated a new tumor in the fatty area outside of the colon. They are categorizing it as a localized recurrence. After many consultations, much thought and prayer, Rich ended up at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Penn for treatment and eventual surgery. Today, October 12th 2021, he finished his 5 rounds of chemo. we are waiting to see if insurance approves proton therapy before they proceed with a 5-week daily radiation treatment. after that, they will give his body a rest to prepare for a surgery sometime likely in February.
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