Before you get started, this is not a prank or a joke, this is as serious as it gets.
One forgets sometimes what others go through if you life cruises along without many issues but things can change so fast.
I'll, do this in the time frame that is as it's happening, and as I write, hopefully, the story will continue.
This had become more of a diary and now that I know more about what I actually have I will be able to explain the treatments. The newest entries will be at the bottom of the page.
Feb 8 2018 I have Stage 4 Metastatic Colon Cancer. They say it's terminal. I'll write this till Kelley feels up to it.
It started Thursday Feb 8, 2018 Kelley woke up for work at 8 AM with severe stomach cramps. Figuring it was gas, or something we ate. He elected to call into work. He slept most of the day and didn't have any appetite. The next morning (Friday) he woke up with the same issues, but was vomiting, which he never does. About 1 PM we called the Tomah, Wisconsin, VA, who recommended that we get to a local hospital immediately.
The Doctor was not with the VA and after doing several tests Including a CT Scan concluded that is was colon cancer.
Kelley was transported to The Madison VA and admitted to UW Health, next door to the VA. The next morning he was taken to The Madison VA for preop. There was very little consultation before the operation other than the usual warnings and release signing. The procedure started at noon on Saturday and lasted about 2.5 hours. He opened his eyes in ICU about 3PM Saturday. At that point he was taken from an ICU recovery room to a double Inpatient recovery room, where in my opinion things started going wrong.
I'm posting this many months later.
I'm still not sure but, my surgeon was a lovely young lady who I owe my life to. Today I wonder: I have no scar, and had very little pain in the following weeks. I would like to smile at her, and thank her for all she has done, to a stranger in need. How can one thank a person with such skill and dedication.
The recovery process
The first night probably went as could be expected. Constant Vitals, Blood draws and IV's. From what I know, the IV,s were Antibiotics, Saline, and a Button you could push for pain. We were never told what type of painkiller it was.
In my opinion the recovery room was not pleasant and had a dirty sock smell to it. For the following several nights constant vitals checks, and other things were done during the night. I left and went home and came back the afternoon of Monday, The 12th with the intensions of spending the night with him.
I was told that because he was in a double room I could not stay even though they knew I wanted to spend the whole recovery with him. Kelley had received no sleep except for maybe 4 broken hours over the days. There were also little hurtles to climb during recovery. To stop receiving a certain anti coagulant, he need to walk a bit: he did, almost a mile. He still got another shot. To get solid food he had to show a nurse a solid bowel movement. He did and finally got crème of wheat, Jell-O, and Ensure.
I stayed that night anyways, and at 10 PM had to go up to a waiting room and sleep on the floor.
At 2AM Tuesday, The 13th He was switched off the pain med push button and given a 5 MG Vicodan. I got a hysterical call from Kelley, He couldn't breath. When I got to the recovery room A nurse had him on oxygen. They brought a respiratory doctor in and they did some tested, followed by a EKG and a chest X-Ray. They revealed nothing and after his oxygen levels were brought back to 93, he slept soundly.
Kelley had become agitated at the constant sleep interruptions and when he awoke in the morning he announced to everyone we were leaving. Still after this they came in wanting to continue as normal.
It took us several hours to finally get the paperwork done, and we returned home.
Home at last, whether good or bad it was his choice. He ate a small amount and slept nearly 13 hours.
Now the story will become more of a diary as a record for us and a guideline for others going through this.
Up at 8:30, Breakfast was a piece of French Toast, Juice, and yes a cup of coffee. Discomfort standing but ambulatory.
I skipped a few days due to doctors appointments
He's eating well and the discomfort is slowly going away. We were out and about yesterday and ran errands, I'm not letting him go into stores dues to the flu running around, as that's all we need right now. Breakfast today will be corned beef hash and an egg.
That past several days have been quiet. Kelley has been spending time on projects around the house, but still aware he has to be careful. Still on the 0 fiber diet and bathroom trips are more regular. Yogurt was the key to getting his shit together, sorry. The pain is still there but is slowly going away. We are still waiting for the biopsies to see what the next step will be.
We found out today that it is stage 4 Colon Cancer. He sees Oncologists next Tuesday for a treatment Plan, which will be Chemo, but we are also going to try a natural way too. Anyways, the operation was a Right hemicolectomy. That's where they take the right side of the colon and remove it.
It has gotten into other places too, like the Liver and Lungs.
Today the stitches were removed and he is off the low fiber diet. Food again, yay.
We did discover that the hospital diet immediately after the surgery was sadly lacking, and after using a 5 culture yogurt thing got back to normal almost immediately. If your facing this challenge once home follow the low fiber diet strictly until the Doctors take you off it. Remember the yogurt to get things balanced again after the antibiotics have virtually killed off all the good stuff.
He is released to go back to work on a very limited basis, and we'll see how that goes. All, in, all, things are going well.
Susan is being a perfect partner and nurse. I chose wisely 39 years ago.
This is actually Kelley speaking for a change.. I'm sorry we haven't updated you recently, but besides the stitches being removed, it's been a waiting game. Today the wait was over and we met with the Oncologist Team.
I learned that this is what's called M
Whether it is 2 months or 2 years no one wants to be given an expiration date, and I don't remember getting one.. The good news is that no one can predict the future.
It's been 3 months now since that first day we found out. Since the last post a lot has happened. Stitches are out and the incision is starting to go away.
Got my port installed and first round of chemo was last week and believe it or not, no side effects at all. The interesting news is my CEA Level (Cancer Markers) was 200+ in the first week and now I'm at 3.5 which tells me that things are going well. 0 is no cancer and up to 2.5 can be considered normal.
I don't always trust blood tests so we'll wait and see if it holds steady.
Susan has been giving me something called Essiac Tea (ess-ee-ack) Look it up on the net. It seems to be working along with the chemo.
Second round of chemo is Monday, let's see what happens.
Besides all of this, right now I feel better than I have in years. Imagine that February 11th, they gave me two months to live.
I started my second stage of chemo, Monday. Some call this cocktail they are giving me Folfox which is a combo of the following drugs. Fluorouracil, and Oxailiplatin (look them up). On Wednesdays I get a two hour, IV, infusion, via and installed port in my chest. The second part is a pump that is attached to the port that I wear home. That goes continuously for 46 hours. Then I start the next round, 2 weeks later.
I have found that each time they remove the pump, I get some minor nausea and a few nebulous side effects. It's almost like a withdrawal, and very strange.
This round was a little harder to take and felt more nausea than the first round.
I'm not saying anything derogatory about what's happening, but if my CEA marker is at 3.5, is it necessary to continue? I would like to skip a week or two and look at a new CT Scan and check the CEA again.
One wonders when they attach a $3000 bag of drugs to me, what the real motivation is.
Third round of Chemo started yesterday,
and it didn't go well. I got the Folfox first, then they
started The Avastin second. The side effects were
instant. Water eyes, running nose, and nausea. A doctor
came in and they gave me a shot of Benadryl. I
immediately Vomited violently. They worked on me with
another shot and I mellowed out a bit. We tried the Avastin again and after 5 minutes it started all over
again. I put a stop to it, and they sent me home with
the Folfox pump on. They are not listening to me and I'm
getting pissed. All my blood work is perfect and my CEA
is 3.1 now.
It been about 6 weeks now and I don't have much news, well I do, but it has to do more with a certain Doctor than anything. CEA went up to 4.3 , big deal. My primary care doctor sent me a radiology report saying the mets were nominal. My Oncologist had a fit that she gave me the report, saying it would give me false hope and now he's giving me 9 months at the most.
Just what I need is Doctor Politics. I'm trusting my primary care doctor a lot. She is a cancer survivor.
My Oncologist is in a Fellowship, which to me is he's still learning. I'm a tad confused as to wanting a trainee dealing with my terminal, as he puts it, disease. Only a trainee would give me my final notice, as the last CT Scan was a month ago. How does he know what's going on in there today. He doesn't.
The way I see it, is that the doctor is reading books telling him how to treat me. The books are guidlined by the pharmaceutical companies.
So what’s this about
radiation)? What’s this about using poisonous substances
to masquerade as some sort of therapy or treatment, to
try to cure a very serious degenerative disease?
radiation are very
much part of conventional medical protocols to treat
cancer today. But they are hideous crimes against
humanity, and, one day in the not too distant future,
Humankind will look back on these Medical Dark Ages and
wonder how such brutal and savage methods could ever
have passed off as treatment.
It's all about money! Why, actually cure cancer when it is so profitable?
We are starting to look at Immunotherapy.
I feel like a mushroom. They keep me in the dark and feed me shit. Why not? I'm terminal.
3 Days into round 6. This is different. Bad cough and uncontrollable sneezing. See, I also found out my boss and his wife have whooping cough. I've been exposed to that for over a week before I knew. My Nurse is very concerned, as am I.
I feel grateful as I haven't experienced the things others have. Sadly I'm a bit melancholy tonight, maybe helpless is a better term.
I see it this way: Mother nature is just getting back at us for destroying the planet. Yeah we have. The GMO's, pesticides,, you know what we have done.
July 11 I received round 2 Of stage 3. in other words I'm half way there, but I'm going to tell you this has been the worst session yet. Each one gets a little worse and the side effects last longer. If the Cancer doesn't kill me, the Chemo will.
I've made a decision! I'm stopping the Chemo as of this week. Because I haven't had a CT Scan since March, I have no idea what my remaining cancer cells are doing. I've been told I can't have a scan for another 2 months. My blood work is perfect and my CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) is at 3.3. My Oncologist still insists I'm terminal and I insist I'm in remission.
I'm going to take the chance and treat myself.
My approach is Essiac Tea 12 oz/day
Apricot Seeds (B-17) 12 seeds/day more can be toxic
3 grams of Vitamin C/Day
and Sheep Sorrel. going to grow it ourselves
These are all proven cancer killers
Yeap, it's a risk, but this time it's my risk. I'll be keeping the Chemo Port, (slim 6 Fr Bard power port) It's a Tunneled Inserted Central Venous Device. It will be flushed once a month and I'm ordering blood tests on that same day.
Kids, Susan and I have done our homework. We're going to beat it.
Still feeling side effects even though the chemo has been gone 3 weeks. I hope they aren't permanent. Besides that, doing well, considering the Doc gave me two months, four months ago.
Stop using foods with GMO's, pesticides, weed killers, filter your water and eliminate stress.
These things will kill you!
Stand up against the terrorists called Pharmaceuticals and The Chemical Companies.
Cancer is the cash cow of most hospitals. Without cancer treatment, I would think, most Hospitals would have to close their doors. Funny isn't it, that some people are willing to kill us to make money!
Mother nature has decided to discard some of us. Then some of us aren't going to take that scenario.
I'm going to survive this. I'll fight to the end, I'm stronger. Stand back Ms. Nature, as you have no idea who you are dealing with.
I feel a little better now. Thanks for Listening.
To Be Continued
Better get to work, Susan's in a bit of a situation and my cat just flipped me off.
My New Motto: I think I made that up actually.
The day you stop fearing death, is the day you
start enjoying life!