My sincerest gratitude.

Thank you all for your crossed fingers, your prayers, your thoughts, your wishes, your support.

I WIN!  Ya heard?

I hardly have words.  I’m exhausted.  It’s been a long long summer and fall.  But I no longer have cancer.  Not a trace of it.  I’m cured.  The surgeon is being somewhat cautious, and wants to look at the pathology slides himself, but the report shows that there’s nothing left..  and that the edges of what he removed have safe margins.  I get to keep my ass!  I’m still in a fair amount of pain from the surgery, but who cares!? I’ve just beat the odds.  10-15% of people who undergo my treatment end up with my result..  You could load 5 barrels of a six shooter for a round of Russian roulette and have better odds!  I’m quite sure that I couldn’t have done it without you all.  Thanks.  Really.

Now I think I’ll take a nap.

the gory details

I came out of general anesthesia in more pain than I’ve ever experienced.   I can’t quite explain it.  Like being violated with a hot poker, maybe.  They gave me i.v. fentanyl (morphine on steroids) while waiting for the percocet to start working.  It took about 25 minutes to get it under control, but since then I’ve been feeling pretty ok.

I came home last night.  Very relieved to avoid spending a night in the hospital.  My good friend Bill was, as ever, ready to run to the store and make us dinner.  The doc told me that I should stick to liquids for the night..  cream soup..  and so it was.  It came back up as easily as it went down.  I always thought I had a pretty strong stomach.  Feeling fine this morning, though.  Just had coffee.  Toast coming right up.

The tumor was so close to the anal verge that they were able to dilate the anus and work on it directly, rather than with a scope of some sort.  I’m pretty sure that it was the dilation that left me hurting, more than the extraction itself.

The doc said that the procedure went well.  He removed the tumor entirely.  Said that it looked mostly like scar tissue.  Now we just wait for biopsy results.  If all goes well, and this is it..   it will be nothing short of miraculous.  I DO dare to hope.  I’m prepared to hear that they have to go back in.  It will be a little heartbreaking, but I’m braced for it.  Somehow, though, I’m not expecting it.  I’m feeling deep down as though I’ve won.

Naturally, I’ll let you all know as soon as I hear.

Thank you thank you for your thoughts.

so it begins

It has gotten a little chillier here in NYC.  Feels as though winter may actually be coming.  I’m sitting on our new kitchen built-in couch, and starting my “preparation”.  Oh boy!  Surgery tomorrow morning.

Nov 15 update.

I’m sorry for the radio silence.

I have been so enjoying feeling like myself, and working in the shop, that keeping a blog has taken a back seat.  Since getting back from Nova Scotia, I’ve managed to knock three frames (nearly) off the queue.  They’ve all been replaced by new orders.  Oh well..  There’s no getting ahead.  It’s been a joy, and I wish there were more hours in day.

There has been very little to report.   Things, however, are about to get exciting again!  I am scheduled for surgery on Monday morning.

This last week I’ve had various pre-op appointments.  A chest x-ray, ekg, another petscan.   All came back normal, which, in the case of the petscan is particularly exciting.  Any sizable mass of cancer would show up on the petscan if it was there.  This doesn’t rule out living cancer at a microscopic level, however.  The biopsies that they did immediately following treatment also showed no sign of cancer..  so I’m feeling pretty optimistic.

I’ll start eating pretty boring food today, and switch to a clear liquid diet tomorrow.  Tomorrow evening I get to do a “preparation” (docs are so diplomatic) and monday morning I’ll go in to the hospital first thing in the morning.  Surgery is scheduled for 11:00.  Please cross your fingers, pray, do voodoo, ride your bike or whatever it is that you feel this calls for.  There is the distinct chance that by the end of this week, once the biopsies are finished, they’ll declare me cured (four more months of prophylactic chemo to follow, but hey!).. so any push I can get in this direction is greatly appreciated.

Thank you all.