I went in search of the Wizard just as Dorothy did, hoping that he would have a magical solution for me too. Instead of click my heels 3 times, I wanted to hear…well, I really don’t know what. Click your heels 3 times and you’ll be home free? No, that wasn’t quite right, but I sure was hoping that I could get a deal like that. Instead I think I fell into Alice’s Wonderland, where I needed to defeat the Jabberwocky before I was allowed to return home. Wonderland, where any bottle I chose to drink from had the potential to change my body in some unknown way into something I had never experienced before, only it would be poison being injected into my veins.
I found the Wizard at the top of the tower (OK, it’s really just a 2 story building). After checking in with reception, I sat and waited on one of 6 chairs with magazines spread over a coffee table in the center as my husband paced behind me. When my name was called, I was escorted into a room where my weight, temperature, and blood pressure were taken. What felt like an eternity elapsed as we waited for our turn to see the Wizard. A tall 6’4″ soft-spoken gentleman with kind eyes enters, only instead of a wizard’s hat he is wearing an unexpected floral tie and a heart-shaped pin. These would be the highlights of his signature dress.
I fully expected the whole get up on the table treatment so as to be poked and prodded. And when I say poked and prodded, I don’t mean going to a physical and letting the doctor listen to your breathing with an ice-cold stethoscope, take your blood pressure, etc. There was that too, but well, everyone else who I’d seen so far had seen or felt my rectum so why not this guy, right? In addition to this stuff, the Wizard had me lay back and felt through my tummy for my organs and various pains.Wizard: Who have you seen so far? Me: Drs Inappropriate, New York, and Care Bear. Wizard: I assume they all had a feel for the tumor? Me: Yes. Yes they did. (steeling myself for the inevitable) Wizard: OK, well you’ve certainly had enough of that! I’m just going to trust my colleagues’ judgement and not put you through another digital exam. Blink, blink. Then as what he is saying dawns on me, all I can think is THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU!!! YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! Believe me, those digitals (exams where the doctor sticks a finger up your butt to feel the tumor) get really old really quickly.
So on to next steps. This man would in effect become my PCP (primary care physician) for the next 5 years. He would coordinate all the treatments and therapies between my team of doctors. The plan would be to have chemorad first where I have a low dose of chemo in conjunction with 30 radiation treatments. I would then have a few weeks of recovery, surgery to remove the offending piece of colon/rectum, recovery from surgery, and then mop-up chemo to catch any rogue cells that may have escaped the initial chemo, radiation, and surgery.
There it was. My path through Wonderland had been set and hopefully at the end of it I’d be able to return to my “normal” life.