What This Is

This afternoon I found myself at a hospital in Cleveland, getting a CT scan, and it occurred to me that I wanted to write about this experience. I don’t love writing about myself, so with a few exceptions (like this post about anxiety), I don’t really do it.

So why now? Because I’m in some uncharted waters, waters I didn’t need to end up in, and I hope that sharing my story will either (1) help at least one person avoid facing a situation like this (generate awareness) or (2) resonate with some folks who’ve had similar experiences but never been able to candidly share the gory emotional details (build community).

Last week, I had a colonoscopy, and they removed a 40 mm polyp from my rectum (though it wasn’t explained to me at the time, I did enough research on my own afterward to learn that that’s pretty big). A few days later, I got the call I was dreading, that the polyp was confirmed to be cancerous. In a future post I’ll explain (1) why I had the colonoscopy last week, (2) when I should have had the colonoscopy, and (3) my intense emotional struggle trying to reconcile those two. (The title of this blog should be a clue where I’m heading with that.)

The purpose of today’s scan (results to come tomorrow) was to determine whether the cancer has spread beyond my rectum and colon into my liver, lungs, etc. I decided to write my first post tonight partly because I needed a distraction from the waiting and wondering, and partly because I want to transparently share the anxiety I’m feeling tonight, when the range of possible outcomes is as large as it can be. If I’m going to do this, to put myself out there in this way, I want to authentically capture the entire journey, in hopes that at least a few readers will get more out of it that way than if I were to write the whole thing looking backwards.

On the one hand, there’s a chance the cancer is widespread and I’ve got an even tougher battle ahead than I thought. On the other hand, maybe the cancer was totally confined to the polyp and I’ll be back to work next week. Maybe they’ll have to cut out just a bit more; maybe my entire colon.

I have a wife whose amazingness defies description, a beautiful daughter who is pure joy, wonderful parents and family, incredible friends, and health insurance. I have a lot of gratitude and I hate losing at anything. Whatever my personal outcome — whether my battle ends next week or takes many years — I want to use this website to help people. Here goes.

6 Comments

    1. Hi Andrew, just now got a chance to read most of your posts. We are so glad to hear, that despite the cumbersome healing process you are on the mend and going to be alright. We are rooting for you and are convinced you will attack your recovery with gusto, even if you drop the ball here and there. We all do. With sincere good wishes to you, Alexis and Addie,
      Friedhilde and Bob

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      1. Friedhilde and Bob, thank you so much for the kind words! It’s wonderful to hear from you, and of course we all miss you so much. Hope you’re doing well. Can’t wait until we can all hang out again! Much love, Andrew

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  1. We were shocked and sorry to hear of your health issue Andrew, this details it a bit more.I don’t know what to say except don’t go so long before getting things checked out next time! That’s an old guys sole chastisement. As a bit of a wimp I always had anything bodywise looked at that didn’t seem normal. Sort of preventive maintenance, if it works for the car and house why not for your body? You shouldn’t beat yourself up on the behavioral counts, some are meaningless and some you have no control over. You got to where you are due to some bad luck. Keep the positive thoughts going, I truly believe they do something to help, and prayer if that works for you. You’ll get both from us in the meantime. I did get a laugh about your musical selection for the MRI, my MRI experience was almost as comical. Everyone said pick loud music, so I picked a Bad Brains CD. After my MRI finished I got up and went into the room where the techs were and they were lined up trying to keep from laughing. It turns out the CD cover was an MRI reading (which I didn’t know), the good news was they told me the results of my test (which they weren’t supposed to do). So I didn’t have to spend three days waiting for the MDs office to tell me that it was clear.

    If it wasn’t CoVid times we would come out and lend a hand. Let’s hope this ends up as a passing memory except for your MRI musical adventure. Love to you and your ladies. Sam

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