Yesterday Dr. Dietz (my rockstar surgeon) called, and I could sense excitement in his voice. Throughout this whole process, he’s been a very steady, calming presence — even-keeled, deliberate, and never too high or too low. So when he said he had “very good news,” I knew I was going to really like whatever he said next.
The scoop: The long-awaited final pathology report indicated that all the lymph nodes that were removed were cancer-free, and the margins around the tumor were such that (this is the best part) I won’t need chemo or radiation. All that’s left to do is wait a few months for my reconnected rectum to heal, then have my ileostomy reversal surgery and bid farewell to my bag. And I’m told that that surgery’s recovery is much quicker; you just have to prove that the ole system is working again, so to speak, before they let you go home and get back to your life.
We’ll obviously be keeping a very close eye on things. I’m not sure yet what the exact schedule of scans, colonoscopies, etc. will be, but it sounds like I’ll have something at least every 3-6 months for quite awhile — which is more than fine by me! The feeling of relief is almost impossible to put into words. I felt like we were down three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and Dr. Dietz stepped up to the plate and hit a walk-off grand slam. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I always understand the world best in terms of baseball analogies.
Today Alexis and I celebrate our third anniversary, so I think that tonight I’ll cheat on my new diet a bit and have some champagne. Lots to celebrate here!