FOOD FOR THE SOUL
My ex-husband has now passed round one in his fight against rectal cancer. He has finished 6 weeks of chemotherapy that came in pill form, and that he was able to self administer from home daily. During the 6 weeks of chemotherapy he also had radiation 5 days a week for almost 6 weeks. The purpose at this point in his treatment was to shrink the tumor so the surgeon can get better margins in order to bring the 2 ends of the colon together after the colon is resected. Amazingly, he has completed both treatments with very few side effects, and has kept his positive attitude intact. Any health care professional will tell you that faith and determination are very important in the fight against cancer. I have seen it myself in my 30 years of nursing. Once a person gives up, death will soon follow. I can list at least 5 people I personally know who are battling cancer, and have the most unbelievable will to live, that it just is heart-stirring to watch. He now will take about a month off before surgery to allow the colon to heal from the radiation. At that time round 2 will begin, and things will get a little rougher. Any abdominal surgery comes with risks, and as the surgeon explained, it is harder on the body than open heart surgery. There is a chance that he may have to have a colostomy bag if the surgeon can’t get a “good seal” when the tumor is excised. This, or course, is not the best outcome, but if it allows the whole tumor to be removed then it is a fair trade-off. Often times they can return and have the colostomy reversed once the colon again heals. My daughters were curious about a colostomy, so we spent time watching a video on You Tube of a very brave young girl showing how she changes her bag. I was in awe that she had such self-confidence to “put it all out there.” unfortunately these things are not comfortable things to watch, but it helps to show the reality of the situation. If it does happen, it will become another routine part of his life, just like brushing his teeth or shaving. At the end of the day, if it means many more years of quality life, then bring it on!
The sad part of enduring this treatment is that he had become very weak during work one day, and had to go home to take a nap. He has retired from police work, and has a job as an armed security guard. He worked different positions in various companies (though the security agency he works for) and had become the supervisor of security in a local hospital. He enjoyed the job very much, worked the day shift, had weekends off, and it came with the perk of a few extra dollars an hour. (which still was a face slapping salary in the first place in my opinion) Anyway…..the minute he had to leave that day he was demoted from being a supervisor at the hospital, sent to another facility to work, for less money, AND put on the 11-7 shift, working weekends again. I am so angry with this company for jerking him around like this! It is discrimination in a very blatant form in my opinion. I have tried to look at it from a business side, but it still comes down to punishing him because he has cancer. I am sure that they are hoping he will quit so they can hire someone else at 10 dollars an hour! The real crappy thing is that they provide no benefits to begin with….no insurance, no sick time, and minimal vacation time! Shame, shame, shame on them!
After surgery he will have to endure another round of chemotherapy, this time more intensive. A port will be put in, and he will receive chemo through the port that will infuse over a 24 or 48 hour period every week for 6 more weeks. This chemo will not be as kind as the pill form, but he has a good support system in place to help his through it. I think at this point the final fight will begin, but it will hopefully be a straight path to a cure ♥