Most recently I was diagnosed with a 5 cm long tumor extending from 2 cm above the anal verge to 12 cm - involing the descending colon.
We made an attempt at sphincter conservation surgery in Cleveland Clinic, but alas, in order to get the tumor and a clear margin, it was not possible.
So now I am left with a permanent ileostomy.
Genetic testing revealed that I carry Lynch Syndrome, so the entire colon had to be removed, since this was my second occurance (I am 48 now, my first bout was at age 28).
I guess the best news is that the pathology report on the colon and lymph nodes removed was that no other tissues/organs were involved.
The current plan is for minimal radiation (since I had lots before) and probably 4 cycles of chemo as 'maintenence' against anything that may still be floating around my system.
I have many concerns. First I am still recovering from the surgery (4 weeks out) I have to wear a wound vac to heal/seal my bottom, where they closed off the anus and rectum. that is the most uncomfortable part of the process.
I am dealing with the 'bag' and ileostomy, I guess it is what my life will become....constant attention to this new orifice that will hopefully NOT be the central thing my life revolves around, but that is where my head is at now.
I can't see too much future with being intimate again with my wife of 22 years, or returning to my regular job, or to my position as an instructor in martial arts...
I can't share these things with my wife, because 'nurse-care', is not really her thing. And, she just doesn't seem to want to talk about anything that I am dealing with.
So, there it is.... Facing a long road, again and hopefully all this will allow me to live the REST of my life cancer free, and to be able to return as 'normal' a life as I can... I just don't see it..
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