thread: Hey Richard
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Old 12/31/2017, 08:01 AM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2001
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This is going to turn into a PSA, and worth a read

Originally Posted by Misled View Post
Richard, heal well.
Thanks....working on it...and a word to the wise here...

If you are over 40, it is time for a colonoscopy. Is a painless procedure and can save your life if you have it done and then have it done as the doctor prescribes.

I had my first about 15 years ago. Needless to say I was the polyp poster boy, I had 22 polyps. The doctor was like "what made you come in"?

I told him the insurance company told me to as I was just over fifty years old. Took their advice and took the 'plunge'. Five of the polyps were at the stage where they would have become cancer in a few more months. Doc told me,

"good thing you came in as I can save you now but in a few more months you would have had colon cancer." They could not get them all the first time around as some of them were so large, so I had multiple procedures. He scheduled me for yearly check ups, which I adhered to.

The next year, had more polyps which they got. Seems I grow them like mushrooms. Same thing the next year, more. It is no big deal as they just snatch them out, is a painless and fast procedure. Repeat this scenario for a few more years.

Then about 1.5 years ago had the usual screen, and I grew something special this time, a tumor in my colon. This was not your regular polyp, but a tumor. They tried to get it conventionally but it was not happening.

Went to several specialists as the thought of having 1/2 of my colon removed as they said I had to have done was not on my bucket list, as my best friend had it done and in the long run ended up killing him. Went to Mt Sinai hospital in Miami to one of only three docs in the US that do a procedure called EMR.....where they inject fluid under the polyp to raise it up off the colon wall and then it is taken out in little pieces endoscopically.

Well that did not fly as this little bugger is what they call a clam shell polyp. It is a flat tumor that wraps around the 'ribs' of the colon wall. The only way to get it out was called a hemicolectomy like this

Needless to say I put it off as long as I could as all the doc's told me that this type of tumor always turns into cancer, eventually, and the doc told me sternly "you don't want colon cancer"

So I finally talked myself into it and was wheeled into the operating room at two pm on 11/29/17...and here is the kicker, I was HOME at 2pm on friday 12/1/17. The nurses and staff at the hospital were like, "we have never had anybody recover from this surgery so fast!"

Yes it hurt but they give you enough meds the first night where you don't care. I blew though the whatever they had in the IV that you could push the button and administer it to yourself as needed. Next day doc came in and said no more of went on oral pain meds. He said soon as your system starts functioning again you can go home. So I was up and doing laps in the hospital to get things 'flowing' again.

I quit taking the pain meds that morning as they prevent your system from 'passing'. Later that day.....the magic happened, we were functioning again, I was amazed. Is amazing they can rip out your guts and put you back together again and be back to 'normal' in two days. I had a wizard of a surgeon and excellent care there.

Recovery is the bear, as they do the procedure laparoscopy , but you get a slice from your navel up, where they take out the colon, do their magic and then stuff it back in and sew you up. The abdominal muscles that have to be cut is where the biggest issue is, you just can't lift or do anything for a few months.

So long story much as I dreaded it, in reality was not that big of a deal. They took the colon/tumor and 81 lymph nodes for pathology. No cancer in anything, except a small 1mm node in the middle of the tumor that had just started, but they docs feel that they got it in time, as it had not spread outside of the tumor or into the colon wall.

I go lucky, so far...should have done it a year ago as they told me to, but I was just to apprehensive of the whole thing and took a while to talk myself into it. My advice is if you have this issue, listen to the docs and do as they say, I should have but was hard headed.

So I have a new 'zipper' on my tummy, little less colon and lymph nodes, but am on the mend. This got long winded, but hopefully will help folks who are facing the same situation as I was. I don't mind sharing this story as colon cancer is 100% preventable if caught in time and addressed.

So guys and gals...get your screening done, start at 40 and listen to your doctors!

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