First, despite the hat, I am not a cowboy. No, I am just some guy who sells wine and can read a spreadsheet.
I am 6'4" tall, and usually weigh in near 250lbs, so with the boots and the hat you could say I stand out in a crowd
My relationship with Miss C. began in late 2007, a month or so shy of my fiftieth birthday, when I decided to get my first colonoscopy. Simple, painless, and I was given an all clear from the GI.
As 2008 progressed, my job started to call for more travel, and in August I noticed some blood spotting while wiping in a hotel room in Houston. Quick stop at my GP when I got home and he sent me back to the GI, where I saw his PA:
"insurance won't pay for another colonoscopy this soon"
"Probably an internal hemorrhoid"
"this cancer is very slow growing, if we did not see it then, then it is not there"
Back to my life, just one that now included a little blood.
Summer 2009, even more travel (170,000 butt in seat airline miles) and things were getting itchy. GP gave me all kinds of creams and suppositories, and in October, sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon stripped me down, cleaned me up and shoved a size 16 shoe (kidding, it just felt that way) up my hole. He then had me get dressed and told me I had a very mild case of external hemorrhoids and that I should be using Desitin.
Just after Xmas, I started to run a fever, and was experiencing some pain in the left groin. Back to the GP and he came up with hernia. First week of 2010 and I saw a hernia doc, who told me the rapidly growing lump in my inguenal fold was not a hernia, but a lymph node and he gave me antibiotics.
Took those to no effect and back to the GP, where we tried three other types of antibiotics, each to no effect. Finally, late February, he sent me for a CT scan.
March was a busy month, so I was remiss in calling for my results, and felt that them not calling me could only mean there was nothing to discuss. Late in the month I had a particularly painful bout of sciatica, and went back to the GP for a torredal injection. Since I was there, the first thin I asked about was the CT. Well, he had to leave the room to get it, and when he came back said "I don't know what your plans are next week, but you should cancel them and get a colonoscopy". The scan showed a lump starting at my anus and crawling five inches back up my rectum.
On March 29th I was officially diagnosed with rectal cancer, and a week or so later staged at IV due to the spread to distant lymph nodes.
The rest is here somewhere, Folfox, avastin, radiation, surgery, a caring employer etc...
Good news/bad news I am still here.
Thank you everyone.
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