The shape of things.

Thank you all so very much.  After the kind of support that you offered during the first go around, I shouldn’t be surprised by this sort of outpouring..  but I am.  I’m once again humbled and grateful.

Here’s what I know after yesterday:

Monday the 12th I will go on the table for a look see. He will take extensive biopsies.  If he can remove the entire lesion, he will.  The location of the lesion is not precisely where the old tumor was.  The biopsies will help determine whether this is a new primary, or a recurrence (though it’s a little unclear what the implication of either is).  During this procedure, the surgeon will gather what information he needs in order to proceed with the actual surgery. Like getting measured for a suit..

Monday the 19th I will go back in and be eviscerated.  It sounds as though there is less than a snowball’s chance in hell that this can be avoided.  The operating room has already been reserved. They will remove my sphincter/rectum and the lower portion of my colon, and re-route the plumbing to the front side of me..  Gross.  If you are compelled to feel really sorry for me, you can google up some images of colostomies.  They’re super yucky.

I will spend a week in the hospital post surgery.  I’m not sure how I’ll manage that.  I can’t imagine that the coffee is any good.

When I asked about follow-up chemo, my doc said that there wasn’t likely to be any.  Then he told me about the drugs they would use if they DID do any.  I don’t feel very reassured.  My surgeon will remove lymph nodes while he’s in there.  Tons of them.  If they find any cancer in the lymph nodes, chemotherapy will be necessary.  The sense is, however, that if cancer had spread to the lymph nodes it would have showed up in my blood work, and it has not.  That’s good.

Apparently there is a significant risk that I will loose erectile function.  hmm.  I guess we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.

This is all happening pretty quickly.  Tuesday morning, for all I knew, I was cancer free and the lesion they had seen was nothing but the body’s response to copious amounts of chemo/radiation and surgery.  Something that was treatable with some sort of suppository..  (ha!!  which sounded pretty distasteful to me.  This new version puts THAT in stunning perspective!)

Hill and I are doing well.  Maybe it’s shock.  I think more likely it’s just reality.  We’re surprised again by the calm with which it’s possible to adjust to something when it simply IS.  There is very little question that this will be a huge adjustment.  (I’m appropriately terrified, to be frank.)

0 Replies to “The shape of things.”

  1. My heart is fucking breaking for you and Hill. I wish you both all the strength and courage in the face of…well…all of it.

    Please do not hesitate to sound the alarm if there is ANYTHING we in the blogoverse can do to help support you through this incredibly trying time.

    [Give that cancer] Fucking hell.

  2. Well, I’ll hope for the snowball then. And if that doesn’t work out then I’ll hope that the colostomy alleviates the physical discomfort you’ve been experiencing and provides you with a good, long cancer-free life. Hoping that you’ll have normal erectile function is probably beyond the bounds of what you’d expect (or perhaps want) from a complete stranger, but hell, as long as I’m hoping I might as well hope for that too.

    Take care. Be strong. Thinking of you.

  3. been a major admirer of your photos, bikes and courage for a long time. *very* affected to hear you have fucking cancer back. my dh and me are coping with his colon c in much as you describe, *adjusting to what is* i told him about you, we are thinking of and pulling for you.

  4. I worried about you all day yesterday, man. I told my wife when I got home, and she seemed almost as heartbroken as me. Strange that we have the capacity to feel so strongly about someone we’ve never met before. Fucking cancer. You and Hill stay strong, brother. Know that you you have all the collected strength and prayers and good vibes not only of close friends and family, but also of all of us who only know you two from the interwebs.

  5. ezra, I’m a mostly silent follower of your flickr stream and I also follow this blog almost since the beginning. I adore your pictures of hill and putney and even more I still adore the way you deal with this fucking cancer. obviously you’re not alone, neither in real life nor in this funny place called internet. and that’s good. actually I don’t know how one can bear this recidivism…but I think at the end, one has to, somehow – and *you* definitely will!
    thinking of you, hill, putney, everything. stay strong, fuck cancer.

    all the best!

  6. i’ve been thinking of you and hill constantly. you guys have my respect and love in this whirlwind change of events in the past couple of days. can’t express that enough. my heart is with you both.

  7. I am thinking of you Ezra and sending healing thoughts. I hope that you will seek multiple opinions before proceeding with the major surgery. If it comes to that though, I am sure you will get through it with grace and humor. You are still surrounded by people near and far who wish you the best. Much love to you and Hill and Putney-Carrie

  8. Ezra,
    I have followed your updates since I found your beautiful bikes, photos, and all around love for life. I am pretty pissed about this. I’m praying for you and those that are close to you. This is pain. Your honest updates give me a lot of hope. Thanks.

  9. I’m with a few of the other commenters here – a silent follower of your blog and photos. I’m so sorry to hear this news – there’s really nothing to say than that it sucks.

    You and Hill seem like you are two people who genuinely enjoy the great little things in life, and it’s just not fair that this has to interrupt what you’ve got. I’ll be thinking of you both and hoping for a successful surgery and plenty more years of love and good food.

  10. Hey Ezra,
    Although we’ve never met, I’ve “known” you for almost as long as Megan, through her sharing of your site and, of course, that amazing bike of hers that you made. With that said, I know for a fact that you are one of the toughest fuckers I know, and that’s no small feat! I am absolutely certain that you will get through this latest battle with flying colors, and amazing humor, just like you’ve been doing the whole time. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful bikes, photography, and words for a long time.

    Thanks for being an inspiration to us all!
    Brian

  11. Ezra, I’m just heartsick this has happened to you. I think of you as family, and am sending much love and encouragement to you via the airwaves.

  12. Ezra,
    A good friend of mine here in Florida has shared many great stories involving you. Today she sent me a link to this blog. I want to wish you all the best in your upcoming struggles and to let you know that you will be in my thoughts.

  13. This news is startling, I’m so sorry/frustrated that the cancer returned. The internet thing is surreal, making friends of strangers and then feeling strange about connecting with them. This just sucks in the most profound way. My best to you and yours.

  14. such grace. and, of course, not at all surprising coming from you.

    keep gracefully kicking the shit out of this, ezra. obviously, the team in your corner is enormous, ready and willing to help – give us the word.

  15. Ezra- I’m so sorry. Glad you have a such a wonderful and supportive wife, family and friends. Thinking of you and Hill and sending healing thoughts, love and support.

  16. Hey E&H

    Oksana and I are so saddened to hear of this turn of events. We’re hoping that after the investigative process, it turns out things are less serious than they appear. Even if not, we know you’ll get through it together and adjust to whatever new reality emerges. If there were any justice in the cosmos, this wouldn’t be happening to you of all people. Hang tough.

    G&O

  17. we send you good thoughts and wish you the best, ezra. i don’t know you personally, but my friends and i are fans of your work on bicycles.

    get that cancer shit outta here

  18. Like many others, I too am totally inspired by your openness, honesty and ability to tackle this head on, Ezra. Hang in there. You have a massive cheering section behind you sending up thoughts, vibes, prayers. I’m shaking my pom poms over here.

  19. To you Ezra, your family, pets, friends, loved ones and life in general –
    I am a man of faith and I will be praying, YES praying, for all great things
    to come out of this. I wish you were my neighbor or friend who lived close by. You impress me with your openness, and the will to take your situation head on. I too am into bikes (not to change the subject by any means). I would dig on showing you around our “bike friendly” community. Not to sound selfish, but your gifted talents would blow everyone away. Thank you for sharing all that you have.
    You may flikr mail me if you find a free moment (lavaboy2).

    All the best!
    Jeff

  20. Ezra, we are thinking of you with all our heart! I hope I can meet you sometimes soon and introduce you to my little son Noah. He is going to love you guys, he is a doggy kiddo! Can’t wait to see his face when he meets Putney! Hang in there and keep on inspiring so many people! LOVE and KISSEs, Bee

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