Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cancer--The Inconsiderate Guest

If you read my blog, you know I had a colonoscopy last week, a procedure I believed unnecessary and tried very hard to wiggle out of. After all, I had no symptoms and no family history of colon cancer. I "lost" my paperwork. I nearly lost my patience and thought about hopping off the table when they couldn't get the IV started and had to call in a real anesthesiologist (3 cheers for Dr. Goodstick!) But it turns out, my unnecessary screening was actually very necessary.

The mass in my colon is cancerous and I'm slated for surgery on December 10th. I'm so thankful they got me in quickly because this will mean I'll be home for Christmas. On the down side, I'll miss out on visiting with readers when Pleasuring the Pirate is featured on Dear starting Monday. (If you haven't signed up for this fun service, visit . Each week, you'll receive a snippet from a new story. Enough to try before you buy!) I'll be able to answer questions on the 8th & 9th, but expect to be in a drug-induced haze with no internet connection starting Wednesday. Cancer is just so inconsiderate of people's schedules!

They'll evict my unwelcome tenant along with my right colon, probably a foot or so, which will leave me plenty of healthy colon. (Dare I say it, a semi-colon? Sorry. Writer joke.) Then I'll spend a week in the hospital on a restricted diet while my innards heal. If you've ever remodeled a kitchen or bath, you know the last thing you want when you redo plumbing is leaks. When they take the section of colon, they'll also take some lymph nodes. If they are clean, I'll be pronounced cured. If there are cancer cells in the nodes, I'll need to go through chemo. Either way, weight loss looms in my future and that's no bad thing. I've been praying about losing weight. Guess I just wasn't specific enough.

I mulled over whether or not to blog about this. But I'm a writer and writing is how I make sense of the world. I hope it will help me make sense of this. And if my experience can help someone else who's facing a challenge, so much the better.

Colon cancer is not sexy. We don't have classy little awareness ribbons (I can't imagine what color they'd be!) But fortunately, it's very treatable and survivable if caught early. So, my friends, if you are over 50 (one source I checked recommended 40) please schedule your baseline colonoscopy. I have no symptoms. None. Zero. Nada. And yet . . . I have a date with a scalpel (which will be wielded by a very cute surgeon, BTW.)

I'm not afraid, but I would appreciate your prayers and healing wishes, most especially for my DH. It's always harder to watch someone you love go through something like this than to go through it yourself. The love and support I've received from my writing friends has been both encouraging and humbling. Thanks so much.

I'm not stressing. I'm sleeping the sleep of the just. I'm in the hands of a loving God (and a really cute surgeon.:))

It'll be ok.


Maggie Nash said...

HI Emily

Definitely inconsiderate! How stressful for you. I have to say, I think you are one very level headed woman. I really admire your attitude to it all. Not much point in getting all bent out of shape when you don't have all the info yet.

I am definitely keeping you and your dh in my prayers. As an RN in my other life I know how wonderfully skilled the surgeons are and I feel confident you'll cope with whatever the outcome.

Here's to you Emily! *clink*...and to clear lymph nodes :-)


EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Maggie. I appreciate your support. You're right. As a writer I know everything that's going on in my fictional world. Not having all the info in my real one is the biggest source of stress.

Wonder if any of my nurses will be closet writers?

ScorpJen1121 said...

First of all, my best well wishes are with you through all this.

also, I don't think anyone blames you for doing a bit less this holiday season. lol, thats what minions are great for *hehe*

*hugs* and Best wishes

Jen Black said...

Hi Emily,
All good wishes to you, hope things turn out to the good. I'm not really a praying person, but I'll send lots of good vibes your way.
Keep up this great attitude and yes I loved your semi-colon pun!

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks to both Jen's. I appreciate the well wishes. Yes, minions are good things to have (if you wonder what we're talking about, you need to read my MySpace blog In fact, I just sent one little minion down to the store with my check card to buy one of her own Christmas presents! At least I know she'll like it. Don't worry. I won't make her wrap it herself.

Anna Carrasco Bowling said...

Hope and prayers for good results going out on your behalf. You've got great attitude, and that's a big part of the battle.

EmilyBryan said...

In addition to prayers and healing wishes, I think laughter is one of the most powerful things on earth. Mark Twain said, "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand."

As far as I'm concerned, this includes cancer!

Alison Stuart said...

God bless, Emily! Take care of yourself and all the very best wishes for the surgery.

And well done for having the courage to get checked many people don't!

Alison Stuart

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Alison. Like a yearly mammogram, the colonoscopy screening is something that can save your life.

A colonoscopy is worse to think about that actually have. And the drugs pretty well wipe the memory of it completely. My sympathy goes out to the doctors who wake up each morning knowing they have to perform the procedure, not once, but several times--without the benefit of mind-wiping drugs! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad they found it in time Emily! I think I might even try to make my annual appointments to get my check-ups now. I'm terrified of hospitals, but I think it’s much better in the long run if I just bit the bullet and get in there.

I hope you are holding up ok and I'm sure your 'semi-colon' will work just as well as before. Thank goodness you haven’t lost your sense of humour. ;-)

I hope you have a very happy Christmas and hope make wonderful memories (as always) with your loved ones.
You’ve sure inspired me to take my health more seriously, so I thank you!

Get better soon!!! ((((hugs)))


EmilyBryan said...

Thanks for your well-wishes, Bobbie. I'm hoping to report that the surgery is all I'll need to clear out the cancer, but if I need to do chemo, that's just how it is. I'm so thankful for my doctors and my DH's excellent health coverage. Don't neglect any screening your doctor suggests.

Say, you might want to visit on Friday. I'm posting one of my sketches from the cruise there through the magic of scheduled posts. No great artistic talent, but I sure enjoy doing it.

Anonymous said...

For sure! I'm hoping, just like everyone else is, that you'll have a clean bill of health after the surgery. Thanks, I know...this is a definite motivator for me.
Health care coverage…I just don't know how people can survive without it (not that they have a choice). I'm so happy I live in Canada so that basic heath care is covered by the Government, for everyone. My DH’s medical plan covers most of the extras, thankfully.

Thanks for letting me know, I'll stop by on Friday at I'm really looking forward to seeing your inspired sketch. :-) Having fun while you create is really what its all about!