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!!