"I am so sorry".
These are not the words that you want to hear from your oncologist when you're sitting there learning about your upcoming treatment. We'd already figured out from the CT Scan and MR Scans that things were not good. But hearing the oncologist say "I'm so sorry" was a new wrinkle in all of this.
It's official: I have stage 4 rectal cancer that has spread to my lung, liver, and lymph nodes.
But what the oncologist was saying was not the usual "I'm sorry" but rather that he was sorry that he didn't see that it had progressed this far. He was genuinely surprised (he read my results twice to ensure that there wasn't a mistake).
Because other than a few issues related to my poop chute I feel perfectly fine. I'm not exhibiting symptoms other than a little discomfort here and there. My blood-work only shows a few anomalies that could be written off as genetic or stress. I won't say that I'm the perfect image of health but if you put me in a room of otherwise healthy people you'd have a hard time determining which one of us was the cancer patient. But here I am: the anomaly.
(A quick aside: please get yourself checked with a colonoscopy as soon as you are able to and as quickly as our crazy medical system will allow. I'm not saying that they would have found this sooner in my case but it might have prevented the shit-show domino-effect that's currently having a party in my nether-regions).
I'm taking this as a good sign, though. I know that the next few months are going to be some of the most difficult I've ever faced but I'm feeling like I can beat cancer. We'll find out if that's true as 2022 wears on. I know that I have the support of my friends, family, doctors, and folks on the internet so I consider myself lucky to have such a strong team helping me face this.
Each day is another step on my journey. I'll keep updating this as I know more. I'm sure there will be triumphs, setbacks, heartbreak and hope, but I can assure you that I'm going at this with as much courage, dignity and humor as I can muster. )I'm already considering wearing powdered wigs during chemo.) Each journey is different and I'm ready to make my own journey on my own terms.
Fuck cancer. Let's do this thing.