Thursday, September 22, 2016

July 15. The Day the World Changed.

Never could I have imagined what the difference a day really makes. On July 14, 2016, it was just a normal day. Well, it was the day that Eric was getting ready for a routine colonoscopy. It was routine, although he had some weird "goings-on" down there in May. But it was deemed to be food poisoning. So they scheduled a colonoscopy for him because he'd never had one before. And he was 56 and he should have one. So he did.

July 15 was a sunny, warm Friday. The colonoscopy was at 11 am. The wait was not long. I was called into the room after the procedure was finished. Eric was still sleeping when I got there. The nurse said we could let him sleep for a few more minutes. He looked so peaceful. Then she slowly woke him up. He talked about how great the drugs were and couldn't believe it was over. "It wasn't that bad," he said with a smile.

Then the doctor showed up and stood next to me. He was holding some sheets of paper. I glanced over at them. I saw some images that didn't look very good. Then he just jumped right in. They found a 5cm (2") tumor on his cecum. And it was most likely cancerous. For a moment, I stopped hearing anything he was saying. As I tuned back in, he was going on about scheduling surgery and getting scans, etc. I looked up at Eric, He was listening. I'm not sure when it really hit him. Maybe it wasn't until we got in the car to go home. I don't think it really hit me until that afternoon. I went back to work after I dropped him off at home. I probably shouldn't have gone back to work. I made mistakes, couldn't concentrate, it was awful.

Since July 15, Eric has had too many doctor's appointments to count. He had consults, CT scans, ultrasounds and then on August 5, he had a robotic surgery to remove about 12" of his ascending colon. They re-sectioned the colon to the small intestine. He was only in the hospital for 4 days. And was back at work in 10 days. For such a major surgery, the recovery time (thanks to the robots!) was much quicker than a traditional surgery.

August 5 - Surgery and hospital recovery.

Sitting up and looking good.


Then we waited 20 very long days until they told us the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. 20 days is a LONG time. (The surgeon decided to go on a really long vacation and didn't leave any instructions with anybody...  or so they said.) We finally found out on Aug 25 that they had removed 21 lymph nodes and 4 of them had cancer cells. So that meant chemotherapy was in the very near future.

On Sept 3 we went to Cape Cod for a week. We had fun, survived a Tropical Storm, ate a ton of food, drank a bunch of wine and beer, but mostly just hung out with friends. It was the best medicine for all of us. Then we had to return to reality.

On Sept 13, we met with the Oncologist.

Yesterday (Sept 19) Eric had a port installed and today he had the first of 12 chemo treatments. He'll be going every other week for 6 months.

First Chemo Day.

So many drugs.

A stylish Fanny Pack. He has to keep this on for 48 hours. 

It holds a pump that slowly pumps more drugs into his body.

* * * I was writing this blog post the night of Eric's first Chemo treatment and got to this point. And then things went downhill quickly. Around 9pm, Eric started feeling nauseous and got up to go to the bathroom. He didn't make it. He turned white as a ghost and passed out, I was right there to catch him thankfully and got him to the floor as gently as I could. After several minutes, he tried to get up only to pass out again. He went down a little harder and seemed to be really out of it, I thought he was having some type of seizure. His face got all stiff and he wasn't responding to me as quickly as he did the first time. I immediately called 911. Eric was able to slowly get up to a sitting position after a few minutes. He could talk, but he was pretty out of it. The ambulance arrived a few minutes later and we went to the ER.

Long story short, we were there all night and into the next day. They ran lots of tests. Everything seemed ok. They think he might have been really dehydrated. They did MRI's and CT Scans (all were clear, which is nice to know!) We're not sure if he was having any kind of reaction to any of the medications or if it was just dehydration. His doctor is aware of what happened and we have an appointment with him before the next round of chemo. I hope they figure out what happened so it doesn't happen again. * * *


I will begin updating the blog more frequently, keeping everyone up to date on Eric's health as well as showing that we're still living as normal a life as we can. Tomorrow we're (hopefully) heading to an annual Gala that Eric produces the video for. It's ironically for the hospital (Crouse) where Eric has been spending a lot of time lately. They've been very supportive of him.

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