First checkup (part iii)

I was called in to see the surgeon this evening, to hear the results of the CT scan. Lots of good news, tinged with some not so good news.

So firstly, and most importantly, there is no sign of any cancer anywhere in my body. As far as the doctors can tell, I am cancer-free, which is excellent news.

They have also identified the likely cause of the pelvic pain that I’ve been struggling with, which has prevented me from stopping my painkillers, which is also excellent news.

Unfortunately that is also the less good news, as it appears to be a small leak from the join in my colon, which has resulted in an abscess forming next to the colon. The surgeon did a sigmoidoscopy, and the hole was clearly visible. Fortunately it looks like a very small leak, but this would explain the general pain, the elevated white blood cell and CRP counts, and (probably) the relatively slow overall progress that I’ve been making.

Options stretch from doing nothing, a course of antibiotics, some minor surgery, to (potentially) having to reinstate my ileostomy again, either temporarily or permanently. Clearly I favour the least invasive approach that produces the right result, as does the surgeon. So, we’re going to start with the antibiotics tomorrow, the surgeon is going to create a new care plan for me, and we’ll meet again in a week or two to determine where we go next. The first part of that plan is likely to involve either an MRI scan or another Gastrografin enema, to provide more detailed images of the actual abscess. The result of that will determine what we need to do next, though it was fairly clear that the surgeon (naturally!) thinks that the surgical approach may give the best result.

So, a slightly mixed result, but right now I’m focusing on “Cancer free” and I’ll worry about the rest tomorrow.


3 thoughts on “First checkup (part iii)

  1. Heck, Richard, you’re really having a tough time. I sincerely hope you can get away without more surgery.

    I was interested in your decription of your CT scan. I have never been given a Barium meal but always have a contrast agent. Presumably my consultant doesn’t think the upper digestive tract is likely to be a problem, but you’d think there’d be standard follow-up.

    I agree that the contrast agent is unpleasant. I hate the metalic taste and the heat in the buttocks, but I have only once had a bad reaction which was at my 2nd CT scan. I felt as if I was burning up and got very clausterophobic. I really felt like tearing out the needle and bolting. Fortunately the feeling subsided qiuickly and I’ve not had a problem since – I’ve had about 5ish. My consultant alternates CT scans with Liver Ultrasounds every 6 months, and a colonoscopy every 3 years.

    Keep positive…. you sound as if you do.


    • I hope so too – I really don’t want to do any more surgery if I can avoid it. However, I promised that I’d do whatever is required to fix me, even if I don’t like it at the time, and I’m going to stick to that. Oddly though, the thought of surgery bothers me a lot less than the thought of going back onto an “ostomy” of some sort; I’d find that very hard to cope with now.

      It’s strange how each consultant seems to have their own way of doing things. Still, I guess it could be something to do with the tailoring of the treatment according to the exact type of cancer we’ve each had? At the moment I’ve not got a solid grip on the schedule or content of the follow-up testing that I’m going to be going though; I just know that it will involve at least CT scans and colonoscopies. Lots of fun 🙂

      I’m working on keeping positive, but I must admit that this has knocked me back a bit. I felt like I was nearly at the end of my treatment, and now I’m (probably) not. Which is frustrating. Still, I’m currently beating the cancer, so I’m sure I can beat the cure for the cancer too!

  2. Pingback: More medical problems « Richard's Blog

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