Inside Out turns Life Upside Down

Usually I don’t hide much from my internet family, but this time I had to and I know all will be forgiven for it this time. So here’s my story and I’m sticking to it. From my insides turned out, our life was turned upside down.

I have successfully avoided having my first baseline colonoscopy for the last two years since we moved to Asheville.
In Miami my primary doctor never sent me for one. (Still don’t know why that was. He sent me for mammograms and pap smears, why not the colonosopy) As soon as we got to Asheville my primary sent me for one that I ignored and canceled the appointment. Then at my checkup in October my primary really put it to me that it’s time to bite the bullet and do it. Since I had met my deductible for the year it seemed like I should. But even the day before I almost canceled again, but nope, I went.

So the details were that they found two tiny polyps. So that is good, right? That was Dec 9th and my doctor said he would send it to pathology and all looked good and I should hear in a week or two on the pathology.

Two days later on Friday at 4pm the phone rang and my doctor was on the other end…Not Good! Pathology called him because they found that one of the tiny polyps was cancer and a particularly nasty kind of carcinoma. He gave me a referral to a surgeon to be seen asap on the following Tuesday morning. I go see the surgeon and he schedules me for surgery the following week on December 23rd. He actually was going on his holiday vacation that day, but instead he wanted to come in that morning and do my surgery before he left on vacation. He thought it was that important.

So now the questions you are all asking in your heads will be answered. The carcinoma they found was so early it actually was not even a “stage”. The surgery was called a Right Colectomy which is the complete removal of the right ascending colon and then the large colon is reattached. The colon lymph nodes in that area are also all removed to be tested by pathology. This does NOT involve a colostomy which is when an external bag is required for waste. What I had is a completely contained surgery and there was no external bag needed. The surgery was all done laproscopic and staples closed my belly up.

I was in the hospital from Dec 23 to Dec 29th. Without going in more details, to be brief…ouch, ugh and tired. Soooo glad when I got to go home and two days after getting home my appetite returned. I was released on a regular diet and anything I want to eat, go ahead. (YAY!!)

Right before I was released from the hospital we got the awesome news that the pathology report from surgery was back and it’s GONE! No more colon cancer. All gone and after full recovery, move on with my life. No chemo needed! ( MORE YAY!)

The only bad part is that I had to cancel any events that involved travel or being away from home for at least a minimum of four weeks home recovery to let my insides heal despite my feeling good on the outside. Saw my surgeon and had the staples out and am recovering quite nicely Had to cancel our trip to Nashville for PPA convention and my trip to London, England to speak at SWPP. There was no way I could make either of those trips. Not a problem. We did not have anything planned for February and by March I will be perfect!

So the good side is that I do NOT have colon cancer now and I did not cancel my colonoscopy appointment. I get to spend weeks now putting together new tutorials, catching up my old work I am behind on, doing new paintings, updating the forum and my websites and I look at this as a gift that I was given to stay home and enjoy the enforced relaxed time to be the best I can be for the future and to put together an amazing kick ass program for WPPI Master Class!

I kept this quiet because it was the holidays and above all, it is very important that there are no rumors about my health that are not accurate. Today I am fantastic and am strong and thankful that this was all caught so early. So you know….I had ZERO symptoms, am in great health otherwise. Low cholesterol, low blood pressure and take no medications other than for sinus and thyroid. Doctors always comment on my good health and I always credit good red wine with being the secret to my success!

So here is to your good health in the New Year! Go for your checkups. Listen to your doctors! They already told me that if I had waited six months longer to get my colonoscopy the results would have been drastically different. Think about that!

My good wishes for you all to have even more success in the coming year than ever before and I am glad I will be here to see it all happen for you and to share my future plans and the steps I am taking to get my art out there more and also selling online, We have a lot of good things to look forward to and I am grateful for my online family and all our friends both online and in Asheville who have been incredibly helpful and supportive to Michael and I. The love and support of my family goes without saying and to those who I asked to keep this quiet over the holidays, thank you for honoring my wishes.  My thanks to the fabulous nurses at Mission Hospital who really do listen and care about their patients and don’t cut corners on their care.

So that is the truth about where I have been! Let’s move on and enjoy the year! I am ready to ROCK it!!


22 Responses to “Inside Out turns Life Upside Down”

  1. Tweets that mention Inside Out turns Life Upside Down -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by msholin, Marilyn Sholin. Marilyn Sholin said: So where have I been? […]

  2. Barb Hartsook Says:

    Thank God, Marilyn! I read this with my heart in my throat. You were so very quiet about it — rapping yourself on the chin about playing hooky and sleeping more than usual. Rest and heal… 🙂

  3. Marilyn Sholin Says:

    Barb, I really didn’t lie about anything…I did play hooky and did sleep more! All will be well and what I see now are opportunities in the coming weeks and not barriers! What could be better than that? I am resting and healing and will enjoy my time!

  4. Debra Lee Says:

    I am so happy to hear this good news! We at the forum are ready for the New Year and ready to Rock ‘N Roll!

  5. Carol Nichols Says:

    God Bless Marilyn!! Hears to good Wine!! We will miss you at PPA.

  6. Dale Anne Says:

    Marilyn, such GREAT news that they caught it early! Take the recovery time to REST & read…..Sending prayers, good thoughts & lots of cyber {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

  7. George Hawkins Says:

    Thanks for your “story” and letting people be informed. Despite the prep day and the procedure day “lost”, I should maintain my colonoscopy schedule! I had a Sunday/Monday schedule, and asked it be sooner; so I am now at a Wednesday/Thursday,resulting in more days out of office.

  8. Marilyn Sholin Says:

    Two days out of the rest of your life. I have new priorities now. You are good to do it before your other stuff happens. Good going George!

  9. Audrey Hamilton Says:

    What and ordeal that you had to go through. I’m glad for you that your treatment was successful and hope that you will continue with your recovery. Thanks for sharing.

  10. McKenzie Leopold Says:

    Dear, Dear, Marilyn,
    What terrible and wonderful news.
    There is no such thing as a coincidence.
    You were supposed to ‘not’ cancel this time.
    I am sure your story has inspired many who were going to cancel, to instead GO GET THAT TEST!
    Many thanks from many friends, and from me.

  11. Barney Davey Says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    Although I sent a personal note, I want tell you here as well that Mary and I wish you a speedy and full recovery. Given all the potential outcomes of such a prognosis, we are so happy your results are on the overall positive side. I am so glad you overcame your reluctance to have a colonoscopy. There are cases of colon cancer among my siblings and cousins. All are still and cancer free now because of early detection. So, I encourage all who have put off going through the process to just find the time and do it.

    On a related subject, I will apologize in advance to anyone who finds this paragraph inappropriate, but in my defense I will say humor is an antidote and this funniest tweet I ever posted was a link to this blog post: I Had a Colonoscopy So You Don’t Have To –

    Please everyone do not let the blog author’s personal observations stop you from getting a colonscopy when you should. Just use her perspective and wise suggestions to help make the experience better. And, remember there is almost nothing we can’t laugh at. And, if we can laugh then surely whatever it is can’t really be all that bad.

    Dear Marilyn, Get better fast, we need you in full strength and spirit.

  12. Marilyn Sholin Says:

    Love it Barney! Someone else sent me this one and it’s another good one!

    Thanks for caring always!



  13. ilena Says:

    So glad to hear of your clean bill of health! My mom had what sounds the exact same situation – to be told it was okay but got that scary follow up phone call. She did have cancer cells and needed chemo. Her 1 year follow up was yesterday and thankfully all is well.

  14. Wendy Says:

    marilyn I am so glad you now have a clean bill of health, it must have been a very worrying time for you all. Take care of yourself. I loved the humourous descriptions of the colonoscopies, they really had the ring of truth to them.

  15. Joan A Hamilton Says:

    Marilyn so happy you hung in there and got through! Keep getting well, and take the best care of yourself…we need you! Hugs!

  16. Marilyn Sholin Says:

    Thanks for all the good thoughts! Lucky me I am going to be fine! But I hope beyond hope that my story makes a difference for others!

  17. Shirley Miers Says:

    Just found out!
    My blood pressure went up
    Heart rate spiked
    Black spots in front of my eyes
    Felt faint and had to go eat something
    Wanted to call immediately, but, my God, it’s February!
    Please, dont ever do this to us again!
    Love Ya

  18. Max Says:

    Came to learn about digital painting, surprised to learn about colonoscopy. Hmm.

  19. Marilyn Sholin Says:

    You never know what you will find on the blog! Plenty here about what you are looking for though. In process right now of updating the blog!

  20. Jerry W. Kelley Says:

    Hi Marilyn, I’m so glad you are well and everything worked out for you. I recently turned 65, now on medicare, and I went for my colonoscopy May 3. I’ve never had one and I’ve heard some horror stories about them. Actually for me the worst part for the fasting the day before. Afterwards my doctor gave me the results. He said come back to see me in ten years for another one, everything looks great! I know some people put off having in done until it’s too late. My doctor said colon cancer is the #2 cause of death. I’ve known some people who had put it off and because of that they are no longer here.

    Take care,


  21. In a Perfect World…. Says:

    […] that do home health. But I was living this as much as he was. After my own colon cancer surgery in December 2009 I thought we were home free. Now I saw that I had to live this with him. To get his diabetes under […]

  22. In a Perfect World…. | Says:

    […] that do home health. But I was living this as much as he was. After my own colon cancer surgery in December 2009 I thought we were home free. Now I saw that I had to live this with him. To get his diabetes under […]

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