Thanks guys! Great having your interest and support.
Rudy, this whole process began with a simple colonoscopy a couple of months ago. Up to that point, I was feeling pretty fit and fine. Colonoscopy biopsy tissue was sent out to a couple of labs for pathology, and then genetics. Second opinion followed. All confirmed colon cancer. But how much? And how far advanced? No one could tell.
Post-op the pathology of the 18" extracted colon showed a couple of spots that apparently didn't penetrate the colon wall. Early stage. Yes George, in retrospect I probably could have waited. But both surgeons I consulted wouldn't hear of it. And even the oncologist I spoke with recommended immediate action, clearing up any doubts with descriptions of bowel blockages, external ostomy bags hanging from my side, and the joys of liver cancer and replacement. Quite a sales job.
Yes it sounds very extreme to me too. But so far I'm amazed to be bouncing back with few side effects. At the risk of TMI, I'm sure you'll be happy to learn that all bodily functions have now returned to normal. Amazing!
My only criticism so far is that our health care system seems to have only two settings: Go and No Go. Nothing in between. Over-treatment in the norm in the US. For instance, once I lay down on that gurney, I was destined to lose 18" of colon, no matter what the doc saw in there with his scope. And I was subjected to a mandatory CAT scan beforehand, absorbing all the attendant radiation, just to show....nothing. Pretty much as I suspected for any early-stage cancer. And now I'm sure my new oncologist will recommend additional treatments...'just to make sure.'
With the staggering rate of malpractice suits, and the high cost of the latest technologies, it is not hard to understand how we always get over-treated. Doctors and hospitals don't want to admit that they missed something, under-treated, or didn't deliver 'the Gold Standard' of care. And at the same time, they want those new scanners, labs and ORs full of billable patients. As I go forward from here, It will be up to me to be pro-active
: to push back, get other opinions, weigh risks and side-effects, and learn to just say NO.