When we left off, our hero had just received the shocking and unexpected diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic colon cancer. After a grueling 48 hours, we met with the colon surgeon that Dave’s gastroenterologist had recommended. His office was this shabby dark space near Fair Oaks Hospital. When we first saw him, he was yelling at one of his staff. My first impressions was “Geez. This guys is old. How is he going to do the surgery?’ Once we sat down with him though my mind was put at ease. He could do the surgery laproscopically. It was straightforward and the tumor was in an “ideal” location which meant it could be removed and the two pieces of colon could be reattached eliminating the need for a colostomy. He took Dave into a separate exam room. When Dave returned he looked a bit shell shocked and told me he could “cross going to prison off his bucket list.” Then this fine doctor dropped the news on us that he was going on vacation for two weeks. I thought Dave was going to jump over the desk and strangle him. Luckily, one of his partners could work Dave in the next week.
Things always work out for a reason, right? It turned out to be a good thing that Dr. Otchy was going to be gone. His partner was great, and it turns out that his wife is one of the kids’ pediatricians. Dr. Stern was exactly what we needed. Dave had his surgery on Friday, August 12th. We were told it would take about three hours. When three hours came and went, I got very nervous that they weren’t able to do the surgery laproscopically after all and had to open Dave up. Turns out the laproscopic surgery takes longer than a traditional open surgery. Dr. Stern was able to remove the tumor and surrounding lymph nodes which would be sent off to pathology to be tested. After a long day, Dave was sent up to his room to start to recover.
*The surgeon on the left in the photo above is the wonderful Dr. Lawrence Stern.
**To read the beginning of our story, start here . https://embracingtherollercoaster.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/in-the-beginning