As we near the one year anniversary since Dave’s diagnosis, I thought I would share how our journey began. I promise not to get too graphic, but if you are easily grossed out, then you may want to skip today’s entry. I think it is useful to know what symptoms he had, so that you can be aware of what to look out for or mentally check off with relief that you are not experiencing the same.
In June of last year, Dave mentioned that he had been noticing some blood after he went to the bathroom (enough said). We both thought it was worth getting checked out, but we weren’t overly alarmed. He made an appointment to see a gastroenterologist a few weeks later. The doctor told him that it could be anything from hemorrhoids to cancer and that he would need to have a colonoscopy to find out. That was scheduled for mid-August. In the meantime, Dave started having pretty severe abdominal cramping so his appointment was bumped up to early August.
We got up bright and early on Wednesday, August 3rd. I was struck by how many men that looked to be Dave’s age were also at the center for colonoscopies. Why is testing not started at an earlier age? Dave’s doctor came out afterwards and explained to us that he saw a tumor on the scope that was all but blocking Dave’s colon and that he had been doing this long enough to know it was cancer. I appreciated that he already had an appointment set up for Dave to see a surgeon that Friday. He also had all the paperwork so that Dave could have a CT scan the next day.
I can’t say that I was entirely shocked at the news. I had done a quick google search, and the only diagnosis that matched Dave’s symptoms was colon cancer. I hadn’t shared my internet research though since I didn’t want to stress Dave out with my armchair doctoring. He was floored. It was too much to comprehend.
We were both stunned the next day when his CT scan revealed that the cancer had already metastasized to his liver in two or possibly three spots. Suddenly we seemed to be moving at hyper speed.