It seems like a dream. As I go back and re-read these words of several years ago, it becomes difficult to remember what it was like going through the events documented here. Cancer is no longer the dominating event of our lives; I retired in May, 2006 and now spend my time doing what I wish. Candace still has a few years to go (unless someone would share the winning lottery numbers with us!), the oldest daughter, Robin, received her PhD a few years back, the youngest, Sarah, graduated college and wed in 2005. In 2006 she presented us with Miss Kayla, we think she's the prettiest granddaughter around.
The middle daughter, Virginia, is still working her way through college and may actually graduate next Spring.
We've taken several wonderful trips (Niagara, Stratford, Ontario, Ohio, Florida and out to Washington State) and anticipate more. Life IS good!
Medically, I reached my goal of not having to be hospitalized during an entire calendar year in 2003 and continued that record until January of 2007. Had a knee replacement done a couple years back, but I don't count that hospitalization because it was voluntary. I've continued my visits with the surgeon as well as chest x-rays, CT scans, barium swallows and the occasional endoscopy and they've all come back as "unremarkable." Well.. I guess that depends on whether one is the patient or the radiologist reading the scans. They are pretty remarkable to Candace and me!
Our no hospitalization record ended one Saturday evening in January this year. After dinner I had the feeling that comes with having eaten too much. The usual routine for this is to lay down for 20 minutes and the sensation passes. It didn't. I started throwing up at 2 AM and felt better afterwards. Sunday morning I was feeling pretty good thinking it was, possibly, some tainted food or a stomach virus. It wasn't. Sunday night was also spent in the bathroom and we heading to the emergency room Monday morning where a CT showed a blockage in the small intestine.
As told to us, a section of the small intestine was attached to the abdominal wall during my cancer surgery and this was the entry point for the J-tube. This attachment formed a small loop in the intestine and, for some unknown reason, another part of the intestine "jumped up and got caught" behind this loop. Was rolled into surgery Monday afternoon and the attachment point was cut loose allowing the intestine to settle back into its normal position. It was not necessary to resect any of the bowel. I spent the rest of the week waiting for my guts to kick back into operation and left the hospital Friday.
Our other concern right now is a finding on the most recent CT where a, "New tiny spiculate density in the right mid lung zone., felt to represent a small area of atelectasis. Since other etiologies cannot be completely ruled out, close follow up is recommended to ensure stability."
The surgeon thinks it's nothing, but my PCP will have me back in for another CT in September on the basis that it's "bad luck" not to follow up. I'll update this after I get the new CT results.
Eric and Candace - July 1, 2007