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Discussion: Wow!

in: chitownclark; chitownclark > 2017-08-23

Aug 25, 2017 7:59 PM # 
That is quite a story. Pretty frightening and I'm glad you are managing it so well. I hope you continue to recover apace. Did they take out enough so you can row as a lightweight?

Anyway, best wishes for a speedy recovery. One might say to take it easy, but I fear such a sentiment would fall in deaf ears.
Aug 26, 2017 2:26 AM # 
First place, congrats, you show em Clark how it's done.

Upper 70's is tough, you have managed to stay on top of your game for a long time. I believe you will pass through this phase and get back on that horse!!
See you Saturday
Aug 26, 2017 11:18 AM # 
Thanks guys. That's why I quietly winced a couple of weeks ago when you said you were going in for a colonoscopy. My doc was still investigating mine. Glad yours came out clean.

I have to assume that my problem didn't develop overnight. Past exams just missed it. But based on the pathology report, I don't think there was much I could have done about it...or much urgency. The real question that is uppermost in my mind is....was this operation really necessary NOW? Would I have maybe died one day WITH these lesions, rather than FROM them?

Or could I have lived happily for another 5-6 years, into my 80's, and THEN had this operation? After all, I lost a good portion of my digestive system for the sake of a couple 'spots.' I can't believe I won't suffer side-effects, less stamina, strength and endurance for the rest of my life.

So my cautionary warning to you, and other old guys, is to push back against Big Medicine when it threatens to take over your life. Question everything. Their priorities are not ours. Maybe we should trust more our own bodies...and all the training, healthy eating, and stress-free relationships we are lucky enough to enjoy. And feel confident that our bodies will take care of these issues too, just as they take care of all the other sprains, falls, and injuries to which our lifestyles subject them.
Aug 26, 2017 4:53 PM # 
matzah ball:
Totally agree with you on that. with that mindset you are going to be fine. our bodies are going to fail sometime, but make some allowance for healing and be skeptical of our knowledge of things - it is just a penlight in a coal mine.

do you mean they operated and THEN got a pathology report? on what basis did they operate then? I read that lesions are hard to pick up in a colonoscopy and it depends on the skill and persistence of the doctor whether they will. makes you wonder.

hope you are recovering well.
Aug 28, 2017 3:32 PM # 
matzah ball:
understand if you dont want to discuss, but since you lambasted the health care system, I was hoping you could give some insight into the specifics of how it failed you.

Anyway, hope you can hand on to first place. Wouldn't surprise me if you did, knowing your character and how it inspires us...well, me in any case.
Aug 28, 2017 3:51 PM # 
Inspires at least several of us!
Aug 29, 2017 1:44 AM # 
Best wishes for a good recovery. I am a bit amazed that you allowed such an extraction with seemingly little justification, unless there is more to the pre-op analysis. That is, of course, after all your frequent warnings of those evil doctors wanting to get you under the knife and do their thing. Regardless, it all sounds very extreme.
Aug 29, 2017 3:50 PM # 
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.

This discussion thread is closed.