My experience fighting big C, that is cancer.
It all started on 25/02/2016, i had a virtual colonoscopy as part of a regular full check-up. While all blood tests were good, that one came back with two polyps of small but significant size, one slightly below 2 cm, the other slightly more than that. This result, which for some reason was communicated only after a few weeks, when i asked how comes i didn't get it, led the doctor to request a normal colonoscopy, which took place on 24 June.
Colonoscopies are in principle painless, and are undertaken under full anaesthesia anyway. But 4 days beforehand, there is a specific diet to follow, without fruits or vegetables, grains and the last day, some pretty strong laxatives in order to empty your bowels. You spend the better part of half a day in the toilets, or close by...
Anyway, to cut a long story short, after i woke up, i was told that the polyps had not been cut, the doctor wrote something on a piece of paper, and sent me to a surgeon in the same clinic. The paper said that one of the polyps was malignant, but a biopsy had been requested, so we needed to wait for the confirmation.
After that, things moved quite fast: 24 June, CT-scan of the pelvis region, which confirmed two adenoma in the sigmoid part of the colon; the biopsy confirmed that the larger polyp was an adenocarcinoma, and that it needed to be cut.
On 14 July, a full-body PET-scan showed that there were no metastasis anywhere, but that two lymphomas were also cancerous.
Two weeks later, on the 28 July, the surgeon cut a 30 cm piece of the colon, and sewed the pieces back together; the piece cut was sent for analysis and came back with reassuring information on the 9 August: only two lymph nodes out of 17 touched, no cancerous cells left in the colon, low grade adenocarcinoma (slow, that is good), no nerves touched.
After 5 days and a remarkably painless experience, i was sent home, after 10 days everything was clean and closed, after two weeks i felt fully normal with all bodily functions restored to pre-operation level.
However, in order to avoid that individual cancer cells that could have migrated through the two lymph nodes start multiplying somewhere else in the coming months, it has been decided to go through the Folfox chemo therapy protocol, 12 sessions at two weeks intervals, starting on 29 August. This blog will illustrate my personal experience of this part of my fight against cancer, focusing on the chemo and its effects on everyday life, as it will take over the next 6 to 7 months of my life.