|Before you get
started, this is not a prank or a joke, this is as
serious as it gets.
One forgets sometimes what others go through if you life cruises along without many issues but things can change so fast.
I'll, do this in the time frame that is has happened and as I write, the story will continue
This had become more of a diary and now that I know more about what I actually have I will be able to explain the treatments. The newest entries will be at the bottom of the page.
Kelley has Colon Cancer
It started last Thursday Feb 8, 2018 Kelley woke up for work at 8 AM with severe stomach cramps. Figuring it was gas, or something we ate. He elected to call into work. He slept most of the day and didn't have any appetite. The next morning (Friday) he woke up with the same issues. About 1 PM we called the Tomah VA, who recommended that we get to a local hospital immediately.
The Doctor was not with the VA and after doing several tests Including a CT Scan concluded that is was colon cancer.
Kelley was transported to The Madison VA and admitted to UW Health, next door to the VA. The next morning he was taken to The Madison VA for preop. There was very little consultation before the operation other than the usual warnings and release signing. The procedure started at noon on Saturday and lasted about 2.5 hours. He opened his eyes in ICU about 3PM Saturday. At that point he was taken from an ICU recovery room to a double Inpatient recovery room, where in my opinion things started going wrong.
The recovery process
The first night probably went as could be expected. Constant Vitals, Blood draws and IV's. From what I know, the IV,s were Antibiotics, Saline, and a Button you could push for pain. We were never told what type of painkiller it was.
In my opinion the recovery room was not pleasant and had a dirty sock smell to it. For the following several nights constant vital check. and other things were done during the night. I left and went home and came back the afternoon of Monday, The 12th with the intensions of spending the night with him.
I was told that because he was in a double room I could not stay even though they knew I wanted to spend the whole recovery with him. Kelley had received no sleep except for maybe 4 broken hours over the days. There were also little hurtles to climb during recovery. To stop receiving a certain anti coagulant, he need to walk a bit: he did, almost a mile. He still got another shot. To get solid food he had to show a nurse a solid bowel movement. He did and finally got crème of wheat, Jell-O, and Ensure.
I stayed that night anyways, and at 10 had to go up to a waiting room and sleep on the floor.
At 2AM Tuesday, The 13th He was switched off the pain med push button and given a 5 MG Vicodan. I got a hysterical call from Kelley, He couldn't breath. When I got to the recovery room A nurse had him on oxygen. They brought a respiratory doctor in and they did some tested, followed by a EKG and a chest X-Ray. They revealed nothing and after his oxygen levels were brought back to 93, he slept soundly.
Kelley had become agitated at the constant sleep interruptions and when he awoke in the morning he announced to everyone we were leaving. Still after this they came in wanting to continue as normal.
It took us several hours to finally get the paperwork done, and we returned home.
Home at last, whether good or bad it was his choice. He ate a small amount and slept nearly 13 hours.
Now the story will become more of a diary as a record for us and a guideline for others going through this.
Valentines Day 2014
Up at 8:30, Breakfast was a piece of French Toast, Juice, and yes a cup of coffee. Discomfort standing but ambulatory.
I skipped a few days due to doctors appointments
He's eating well and the discomfort is slowly going away. We were out and about yesterday and ran errands, I'm not letting him go into stores dues to the flu running around, as that's all we need right now. Breakfast today will be corned beef hash and an egg.
That past several days have been quiet. Kelley has been spending time on projects around the house, but still aware he has to be careful. Still on the 0 fiber diet and bathroom trips are more regular. The pain is still there but is slowly going away. We are still waiting for the biopsies to see what the next step will be.
We found out today that it is stage 4 Colon Cancer. He sees Oncologists next Tuesday for a treatment Plan, which will be Chemo, but we are also going to try a natural way too. Anyways, the operation was a Right hemicolectomy. That's where they take the right side of the colon and remove it.
It has gotten into other places too, like the Liver and Lungs.
Today the stitches were removed and he is off the low fiber diet. Food again, yay.
We did discover that the hospital diet immediately after the surgery was sadly lacking, and after using a 5 culture yogurt thing got back to normal almost immediately. If your facing this challenge once home follow the low fiber diet strictly until the Doctors take you off it. Remember the yogurt to get things balanced again after the antibiotics have virtually killed off all the good stuff.
He is released to go back to work on a very limited basis, and we'll see how that goes. All, in, all, things are going well.
Susan is being a perfect partner and nurse. I choose wisely 39 years ago.
This is actually Kelley speaking for a change.. I'm sorry we haven't updated you recently, but besides the stitches being removed, it's been a waiting game. Today the wait was over and we met with the Oncologist Team.
I learned that this is what's called M
Whether it is 2 months or 2 years no one wants to be given an expiration date, and I don't remember getting one.. The good news is that no one can predict the future.
April 21, 2018
It's been 3 months now since that first day we found out. Since the last post a lot has happened. Stitches are out and the incision is starting to go away.
Got my port installed and first round of chemo was last week and believe it or not, no side effects at all. The interesting new is my CEA Level (Cancer Markers) was 200+ in the first week and now I'm at 3.5 which tells me that things are going well. 0 is no cancer and up to 2.5 can be considered normal.
I don't always trust blood tests so we'll wait and see if it holds steady.
Susan has been giving me something called Essiac Tea (ess-ee-ack) Look it up on the net. It seems to be working along with the chemo.
Second round of chemo is Monday, let's see what happens.
Besides all of this, right now I feel better than I have in years. Imagine that February 11th, they gave me two months to live.
I started my second stage of chemo, Monday. Some call this cocktail they are giving me Folfox which is a combo of the following drugs. Fluorouracil, and Oxailiplatin (look them up). On Wednesdays I get a two hour, IV, infusion, via and installed port in my chest. The second part is a pump that is attached to the port that I wear home. That goes continuously for 46 hours. Then I start the next round, 2 weeks later.
I have found that each time they remove the pump, I get some minor nausea and a few nebulous side effects. It's almost like a withdrawal, and very strange.
This round was a little harder to take and felt more nausea than the first round.
I'm not saying anything derogatory about what's happening, but if my CEA marker is at 3.5, is it necessary to continue? I would like to skip a week or two and look at a new CT Scan and check the CEA again.
One wonders when they attach a $3000 bag of drugs to me, what the real motivation is.
Third round of Chemo started yesterday,
and it didn't go well. I got the Folfox first, then they
started The Avastin second. The side effects were
instant. Water eyes, running nose, and nausea. A doctor
came in and they gave me a shot of Benadryl. I
immediately I Vomited violently. They worked on me with
another shot and I mellowed out a bit. We tried the
Avastin again and after 5 minutes it started all over
again. I put a stop to it, and they sent me home with
the Folfox pump on. They are not listening to me and I'm
getting pissed. All my blood work is perfect and my CEA
is 3.1 now.
To Be Continued
My New Motto: I think I made that up actually.
The day you stop fearing death, is the day you
start enjoying life!