Wednesday, 29 June 2011

June 28 & 29

Yesterday it was nice to receive flowers from my wife's work, see below. Very unexpected but a  nice thought and they look great. I've never received flowers before but they do brighten up the main floor. Thanks!

Not sure how but Mary-lou from Dr Gryfe's office was able to get me a full catscan for this Thursday. No idea how she was able to pull this off but I'm very appreciative. 

It will take 5 days for the catscan to be analyzed and the report sent. Dr Robert Burkes who is back from vacation on Mon July 11. My appointment with his is on Wed July 13. Don't think I will be able to get in any sooner. Based on what I've read and viewed  he is one of the top guys so I'm more than OK with this time line. 

The other dependency is the portacath on July 18. Once this is done I can start treatment. Just not sure if I will get treatment before going to the family reunion on July 25. Mary-lou thinks no but she is going to try and I'll see what I can do to help as well. 

Want to say thanks to everyone for all your help and support! Some times the small stuff really helps. Received many emails of support. They are all very appreciated and I hope to get back to everyone tonight.Feel free to send notes to my work or home email. 

From the blog I've also learned that a relative traveled to Europe with Dr Burkes back in 75. Also a neighbor
has refereed me into a doctor at Sunnybrook who he knows for a second opinion. Doubt they will find anything different but you never know. 

Outside of following up with health care next steps I've been focusing on exercising and catching up on some paperwork. The exercising is going well, want to beef up before chemo starts. The paper work has been harder to get to but I'm optimistic for next week. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

June 27 - Mon

Had the colonoscopy on Monday at 10am ish as planned. They took some samples and the process was fine. Not it is a matter of waiting for the results.

To be honest it did hurt. During the operation I did wake up and it felt very odd and painful. They do not put you out more like a sleepy dream state. It took a good  4 hrs after the operation for the bloating to go down. The whole preparation, process and post symptoms was not pleasant.

My big lesson was how many people have been through the process. I'd say that close to 70% of the people I've talk to about this over the past few days have had at least one colonoscopy over the past few years. Many of them have bi-annual checkups. Just not the sort of thing that you discuss over lunch.

The doctor was Dr Matti Warterman not Dr Robert Burkes, not sure if I had the wrong info or this was a last moment change. Dr Warterman was great, very relaxing and confident. This was going to be one of his last procedures before moving back home to be with his family.

Thanks to Tanya for being persistent with the date for the catscan. We should hear back on Tuesday. We have dates for our next meeting with Dr Robert Burks on July 13 and July 18th for portacath to help with the chemotherapy treatments. Now that we have a base line the goal is to see if we can improve the dates.

In summary, yes the colonoscopy hurt but I've had worse hangovers. With 20/20 hindsight on the pain vs risks I think the guys who have the process every few years are on the right path.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

June 26 - Su

Not much happening. Preparing for colonoscopy on Monday by not eating, taking some meds and drinking seveal litres of water / juice.

The hardest part is stopping the normal habit of eating. Not snacking while making food for the kids or eating what they left on their plate. Not grabbing some left overs when getting more juice from the fridge.

I half expect to find myself accidentally eating a turkey leg while grabbing a side dish of potatoes out of the fridge .... good thing I don't have anything like that.

Real food again on Monday!

June 25 - Sat

Very Busy day

9am - near the end of each school year we have family photos take at Tangerine studio. We have been going to Natalie since Cameron was first born 8 years ago. They do a great job keeping the kids focused and we like going to an owner operated shop.

Forgot to mention that I pulled Gavin out of school on Wed and we both got a haircuts. On Friday I wanted to pull just Cameron out but Gavin saw us so I ended up taking both of them. Cameron is at the age when he is starting to care about his appearance, well at least his hair.

Our normal barbershop had closed early on Friday. On Wed I learned that one of the two brothers who run the place was going in for cancer surgery on Friday, I'll have to follow up with them next week.

10:30am - back at home to feed the kids

11am- back at home, I was heading off to Sobeys and Costco for shopping with Cameron. Tanya took Gavin to a birthday party

1pm - off to Burlington for my sister Colleen's birthday party. Got to see my brother and sisters plus most of their kids. It was great to see everyone was very supportive. Glad the focus of the day was my sisters birthday.

7pm - back home to start taking the medicine in preparation for the colonoscopy. I really didn't want to start taking this without very close access to a washroom.

8pm - made our final booking of RV for the Boyd family reunion at the end of July. We are picking it up in Halifax and driving it to Lakevale , just outside Antigonish Nova Scotia. Cameron and Gavin are looking forward to travelling in the "rust bucket"  for a week. If I need help with the driving I've asked my brothers son Ian to help. We will make it some how.

In some ways a very normal rushed Saturday with the kids but always had health questions in the back of my head.

June 24

Friday was my first day off since getting back. No doctors appointments or running around.

Mary Lou called from Dr Gryfe's office, my colonoscopy is scheduled for Monday June 27 at 10am, they will take a biopsy of my cancer. This will be done by Dr Ron Burkes. Dr Gryfe is out of office on Monday but I think the more people working on this the better.

The catscan is set for the week of June 27 as well but the date won't be set until Monday. Hopefully this will be on the 28th or 29th.

Based on the new blood work, the biopsy and catscan a full diagnosis will be done and treatment will progress. I'm looking forward to this and prepared for any outcome. Ignoring the reality is not going to make anything better. Not knowing and not progressing with treatment is the hardest part for me.

On Monday I also need to follow-up with the hospital in Fred for a CD of my first catscan. The first catscan was just abdominal the next set will include chest.

To be honest, it was very hard to start working on the planned tasks Friday. I stayed in bed till a noon time call from Tanya.

Realized that even though I have cancer that tasks still need to be done. Sometimes taking care of the small things is the most rewarding. Scanned in paper work for the kids summer camp, looked at options for getting e-bills vs canada post and started laundry.

I did think of pulling the kids out of school to go to Cars II but after reading the reviews I didn't think it would be worth fighting the crowds on opening day. We can always go next week. Guessing I will have more time then as well.

Later in the day some people from worked called to offer moral support. It was very nice and very appreciated. Reminded me that I need to let more people know at my work.