Thursday, December 07, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0379 - Respite From Worry

After slightly more than a year of diagnoses and medical tests which always seemed to bring me the worst news, today I had some very good news. My surgeon told me that the pathology report from the colonoscopy last week revealed no evidence of cancer at all. He also indicated that at the time of the colonoscopy, when he performed an "aggressive" biopsy, he was confident that he had discovered recurrent cancer in the tissue surrounding the anastomosis. He was so sure that in fact he called the pathologist to confirm that the tissue was clear. The pathologist was totally sure.

Evidently, there is a large growth of "granulation" tissue around the anastomosis, something euphemistically called "proud flesh"; in other words, an unusual amount of scar tissue. So, I'm clear of cancer, but the granulation tissue is something we'll have to watch over the next few months. In three months my surgeon will perform a flexible sigmoidoscopy to re-examine the entire circumference of the anastomosis. Until then, I can expect that the tissue will remain sensitive, occasionally producing some rectal bleeding. But it should gradually start wearing away.

This is such good news. I am so relieved. The surgeon confirmed that, had the biopsy proven to be malignant, I would be looking at further surgery, including the inevitability of a colostomy. Instead, I can look forward to continued recovery and, hopefully, a very long break from concern and worry.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, I am very happy for you. I was on my toes hoping to hear that the news was good. There is hope for all of us. Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

don - this is fabulous. After the year you've had you deserve this. I don't think anything you get for Christmas will compare with this news.