Wednesday after school, I walked into the house and the first thing that my mom said to me was, “Sit down, I have something to tell you.” When someone says those words to you, you can only think the worst. Who had died? What horrible accident had happened. Who has cancer?
She then said to me, “Dad has a tumor.”
I immediately asked where and she told me that it was a couple inches above his rectum and it was pushing through the tissue wall and into his muscle. My dad had had a routine colonoscopy and, from that, they had found a tumor in between his rectum and his sigmoid colon; or generally speaking, in his large intestine. I had to do a bit of research, so for those a little medically stupid like me, a picture:
He’s had to go back to the hospital multiple times since then to get other tests done. At first they weren’t sure if it was cancerous or not, but the next day the surgeon said he would be really surprised if it was not. To treat it, he’ll have to undergo five weeks of radiation and chemo to shrink it, and then have his first surgery, where they will remove the tumor. He’ll have a colostomy for 5-7 weeks, and after everything has healed, will go in for another surgery to rebuild his bowels.
We still don’t know a lot of details, but that’s the general idea of what’s going to happen. They said the tumor is about the size of a golf ball and they were really surprised that he wasn’t having any symptoms from it, like rectal bleeding, weight loss, or cramps. My dad kind of laughed and said, “What! I’ve gained weight!”
I’m glad my dad can laugh about it. Though as he said, “There’s not much else you can do.” He’s been making all sorts of “butt” jokes since then. ;P He’s so weird.
It was a bit of a blessing that my dad went in to get his colonoscopy when he did. He was originally supposed to go in a couple of years ago, but the doctors said that if he had done that, they probably wouldn’t have found the tumor.
I think my mom is taking it the hardest of us all. While colon cancer is definitely very serious, it’s not usually deathly or have awful side affects that will affect anyone for the rest of their life. It’s just one of those things that really shake you. It was so sudden to. You just never know when things are going to change…
We don’t know when he’ll have to start radiation and chemo, but probably some time next week. They want to start pretty soon, which would be best. It seems like a silly question in retrospect, but I wanted to know if he’ll lose his hair.
It’s been kind of a long, sucky week…