Much has transpired since then. And there's more to come...
All those observation ports have healed up nicely. Three fairly tiny new scars. So what's next?
The big difference between colon cancer and rectal cancer is that the colon is often treated just with surgery, or with surgery followed by chemotherapy, and no radiation.
On the other hand, best outcomes with rectal cancer come from the triple-whammy -- radiation, chemo, *and* surgery. Most often, radiation is interleaved with chemo over some weeks, followed by surgery, but this *can* vary.
As you might expect by now, I'll be doing it differently than most.
So, I'll be getting a heavier dose-per-treatment, but fewer treatments, of radiation -- daily, January 6 to 10. Between now and then, a few more doctor visits for various things, and, oh, the wake and funeral for my mother (about which you can find more info nearby).
Then I get almost a week of recovery, before getting a chemo port installed (January 16), and then, on January 17, the revised surgery to remove the tumor and neighboring pipe.
This is especially terrible timing, because there are multiple events the weekend of January 17-20 which I would ordinarily be trying to attend. On the other hand, that means there are gatherings of people who care about me and whom I care about, who might spend a few minutes together raising and sending energies my way. If you're at one of those events, and are so inclined, I'll be very appreciative.
They will probably send me home from this surgery with a souvenir ostomy bag, which will probably (hopefully) be a temporary accessory.
Then I get the chemo, every other week, for about 6 months.
Meanwhile, a university in Springfield MA has provided my partner with a new teaching position, and we're starting to shop for a house, aiming for a 30-45 minute commute for her, and similar drive times to our existing network of people in the area.
(Blessedly, I shifted to working from home a few years ago, and my job is now mostly portable as long as I have a good internet connection.)
Our goal is to be moved around June/July, to have a month or two to settle in before fall classes commence. That also means it's now time to start staging the current house for sales pictures and showings.
Whee! 2020 had better be a better year!
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