Blog Series

X Marks The Spot – #13

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

July 10th, I saw my Chemo Oncologist and he gave me my official diagnosis as having stage IIC rectal cancer.  Stage IIC cancer is where cancer has grown through all the layers of the colon or rectum and has grown into nearby organs or tissues. The ‘C’ after the stage number indicates cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes or distant organs. My cancer was protruding on the walls of my vagina.

As of July 10th, my Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) test showed a value of 27.0. The MRI revealed that the tumor extended 6 to 7 cm in length by 5.2 cm X 3.0 cm in size. Hopefully, the 6 weeks treatment of the chemo pills and radiation will reduce the size of cancer and CEA levels before surgery.

My radiation treatment is scheduled to start on July 12th.  I have already had my CT Simulation for radiation therapy.  The CT simulator includes a CT scan of the area of your body to be treated with radiation. They mark your body with a small tattoo.  Yes, I have a small tattoo.  X literally marks the spot.

When my cancer plan was explained to me, I marked the event(s) by phases.  Phase I, 6 weeks of chemo pills and radiation; Phase II, 6 weeks recovery from chemo pills and radiation; Phase III surgery and recovery; Phase IV chemotherapy infusion; Phase V chemotherapy recovery; Then I would go back to work before my FMLA ran out, and everything would be good. THAT WAS MY PLAN.

I’ve attached a picture of my “tattoo”, this is probably the closest I will come to getting a tattoo.  I have enough pain and I cannot see myself initiating pain to my body.

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