Right then. The news is not really bad, but it's not good either. My wife and I met with my gastroenterologist Dr. Enns today. He told me that there is a cancerous lesion (they're no longer using the word polyp) in my intestine, 3-4 cm long, that must be removed. It does not seem to have spread beyond there, but my doctors will only know for certain once it is out and they are able to examine the tissue and accompanying lymph nodes. There is nothing further up my intestine, and my liver is fine. That's the good news.
The next step is that I meet with my surgeon, Dr. Brown, this upcoming Monday, February 5. I presume we will figure out then when the operation will happen—but that will be very soon, likely before the end of February. That cancer is coming the hell out, baby!
It is not minor surgery. Dr. Brown will open me up, cut out a section of my colon, and stitch the remaining bits together so that they will heal. I will be in St. Paul's Hospital (where I was born, incidentally, as were my kids) for at least a week, and Dr. Enns advises me that I will be away from work for something like two months.
No one yet knows whether I will need followup chemotherapy or radiation, or further surgery. I expect and hope that I will be back to something like normal in the middle of the spring, and that I will be able to enjoy the summer of 2007 in fine form.
That, so far, is the plan—a bit of an overwhelming one, but a plan nonetheless. So I'm calling this, January 31, Day Zero of my cancer treatment. It's like Ground Zero, since everything up to now has been diagnosis, and it's convenient to start February 1 as Day One.
There is more to it, of course, and I'll get into that later. I am, needless to say, a little out of breath with all this—something I was not at all expecting even a month ago. But as I always say to my kids, and as Dr. Enns said to me today, it is what it is, and I will work through it.
For those of you who missed my interview on CBC Radio about all this crap yesterday, I'll have the audio posted later tonight or tomorrow (UPDATE: posted!). I said there that I would keep posting, good or bad, and I'll stick to my word.