Following our very long weekend of phone calls delivering the bad news was the first of many weeks and months filled with endless doctor appointments. First up was Dr. NY, surgeon extraordinaire. I was initially referred to Dr. English, but he had too many patients already to add another, so I was passed over to the partner in his practice. To my CRC friends: when picking a surgeon, make sure they are board certified specifically for colorectal surgery, not just general. I was not aware that there was a difference at the time (and was lucky to have been referred to Dr. NY), but I have since learned from the experiences of friends that not all surgeons were created equal. You want someone who is the best of the best whenever going through surgery, but especially when dealing with your bowels.
Dr. NY wanted to get a better look at what she was dealing with, so the first order of business was a flex-sig (flexible sigmoidoscopy). Fleet again. This time though, I wouldn’t have to taste that awful faux-lime saltwater. Unfortunately the solution has to go in one way or another – it was time for another. It’s amazing how such a little nozzle can be so uncomfortable when it is put up your arse. My poor husband had to “administer” the dose…and was so nervous that he got half-way…and dropped it. Son of a motherless goat! OK sweetheart, deep breath and let’s do it again…and again…and again. I can laugh about it now and am doing so as I write this, but boy, at the time it was just as uncomfortable as it could get – or so I thought.
Dr. NY’s nurse assistant, Sweet D, came in to take vitals and prepare me for the procedure. There is absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the discomfort. Dr. NY came in and had me lay on my side. Eddie stood in front of me and did the sweetest thing – he held my hand and told me to squeeze as tightly as I needed to. It was the same thing he used to do for Taylor whenever the pediatrician needed to give her a shot. So Dr. NY proceeds with Sweet D holding me down. Eddie tried to distract me and said that this was not what he had in mind when he prayed to have a beautiful woman inserting an instrument in my butt while another held me down. I could have killed him for making me laugh when I had a camera traveling through my rectum!
With all that behind me, Dr. NY informs me that had the tumor been just one inch higher, she would have had me in surgery the next day. As it were, I was to have chemorad before surgery to shrink the tumor first. And so, we’re off to see the wizard, hoping that he had a magic potion in store for me.