Notes from Meeting w/ the Head Lead* Doc

Jody and I had a post-chemo/rad check-in with the doctor heading up my treatment team today. Basically he wanted to make sure I was feeling ok and that I will follow-up with him on the outcome of The Thing That Will Not Be Mentioned** that I got looked over for yesterday.


  • There is a possibility that my lower anterior resection can be done laproscopically. For reals?! Still, I'm pretty much resigned to having a 6+" scar running down my belly. Battle scars and all that.
  • Chances of my getting an ostomy: 100%. Having my output rerouted significantly decreases my risk of post surgical complications.
  • Chances of having an ileostomy (vs. colostomy): 100%. The logic behind putting the ostomy further upstream from the actual anastomosis is that they're apparently easier to set up and take down. I was kinda hoping to have something a little further downstream, but whatever it takes to get my Humpty Dumpty guts back together again.
  • Speaking of the "take down," that is done post chemo, so I'm going to be Lady Ziplock for a while. Gah.
  • He confirmed that the chemo/rad treatment seemed to do a number on my tumor. We don't need to talk about how he came to that conclusion...
Long story short, my job is to TCB until surgery. I've already filed our taxes and am getting a good head of steam up for putting stuff up on eBay, so I've got that going for me.

Which is [k]nice.

*Not "head" as in shrink (thanks HH)
**It's probably not what I feared, which is too icky and unsettling to actually mention in print, but there are some things even I have to keep private, especially when it involves them privates.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Not that you asked for my specific opinion on this, but I have one related to the laparoscopic-option. I had a pair of super-great surgeons do my lower anterior resection (which I notice you have changed from TME on your calendar), and my scar is pretty mild. That said, my surgery was NOT completely laparoscopic or direct. They initially used laparoscopic technique to detach the descending colon from its attachment near my spleen... a small incision, insert laparoscopic tool, move tool to correct location and snip-snip. Then, they sliced my abdomen from just below the belly button to just north of you-know-where. They chose to do this for two reasons - (1) to be able to clearly see what the heck there was to see before any slicing and dicing and reattaching activities, and (b) to be as gentle as possible with my internal organs. If you try to do this laparoscopically, they make smaller incisions (good for post-operative aesthetics) but are forced to pull your colon out through the incision to see it/slice it/reattach it. This is harder on the tissues of the colon itself (more soreness and longer healing) as well as the connective tissues and what-not inside your belly. That tugging and shoving may make it more likely that you will develop adhesions during the healing process, and these buggers could twist up your colon (or worse, your small intestine). I had a majorly-painful partial bowel obstruction three weeks after surgery that was more painful than anything preceding that - including the too-speedy reduction in my epidural that led to massive muscle cramping along my abdominal stitches the evening after my surgery.

Wow. What a mouthful. I may have already written a ton about this and the pains I had recovering from the surgery in my blog. Or maybe it was my email updates. I will look for those stories and forward them to you if you want to leave me your email address somewhere.