Young Man (34) With Old Man Issues (Colon Cancer)

Why A Blog And Should I Shave My Arms?

As soon as I found out I had cancer. I got a chicken sanwhich from Main Street Footers (I live in Turlock, CA) and laughed with my girlfriend awkwardly thru most of the afternoon. We then went to get a blood test that tells me the status of my tumor. After the colonoscopy IV and this blood test, I am considering shaving my arms. I am very hairy (no back hair thank God) in the arms and it hurts every time they pull bandages off and since this is going to be happening for a while, giving it some thought.

Here is what I have to do at this point: Get a CT scan (scheduled for the 14th) to find out if its spreading and if I will require chemo, see Expendables 2 (big Stallone and Norris fan), schedule a surgery (plan to work til day before surgery), see a cancer specialist afterward.

Also, I have to call places like disability services, cancercare, and other foundations to see about help. Having already called cancercare, the relief they offer is for chemo patients (hoping it does not come to that).

My mom had colon cancer last year. She was 61. I have always been into old movies and old music (favorites being Marx Brothers, Bob Dylan, Pat Boone, Woody Allen, Rodney Dangerfield, Bruce Brown). I guess it makes sense that I got this now as I was always old at heart.

WHEN CALLING FAMILY WITH THE NEWS DON”T EXPECT ANYTHING. My mom said this is all my dad’s fault then wanted to talk weather. One family member called to argue that colon cancer was so rare in my age group. I got my stats from a cancer foundation online. This all has already taught me that BEING RIGHT IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS BEING HAPPY. I wish I would have realized that during all the stupid fights I have had in my life.

I love films and have one I am co-directing as early as December. I decided the night of my results to go to the beautiful STATE THEATER in Modesto and see a film to lift my spirits. DON’T SEE A TODD SOLONDZ FILM THE NIGHT YOU FIND OUT YOU HAVE CANCER. The film, Dark Horse, was very good and am glad I saw it but mondo depressing. It was about a man child who equates a girlfriend, a pitiable pill popper, with a toy and how deciding to grow up and be a man can cause a lot of trouble. The characters and message felt true; truthfully I am glad I saw it. I am also glad I saw it with my fiancee (I will call her V from here on out) since she got to try her first martini and any day with her is a great one.

When I got home that night, I looked around online for people my age with colon cancer and found little. I am starting this blog in the hopes that maybe something I find out will help other young people going through this generally old man (or woman) problem.

How I Found Out What The Problem Was

I have never done a blog before. If this blog ends up too sentimental or depressing at any point, readers, please let me know.

I found out through a series of tests in May that I had Campylobacter. This delayed a scheduled colonoscopy as I has a cause for all the stomach cramps and bloody issues I was having (I don’t mean that term as British slang). By late July, the Campylobacter went away, but the symptoms stayed, so I scheduled a colonoscopy.

I have a lovely fiancee (pictures coming soon). She is nine years younger (25) and an angel and a rock (being ill is a selfish thing and the only thing that makes an ill person redeemable is they did not chose to be sick). She went with me to the colonoscopy.

I have a 30 doctor co-pay (specialists charge 199 for an appointment, one did so for a five minute consultation). I work with the delayed adult population, little pay but am told Blue Shield coverage is excellent. I mention this because lab tests (Everyone Go To Quest Diagnostic, their prices are far lower than anywhere else I have found) and doctor visits are not expensive, but boy a colonoscopy is.

Just taking up space in the surgery center costs 800 bucks and the procedure itself costs that. If this were preventative (meaning if I just walked in without any known illness and asked for a colonoscopy) it would have been all free. If I was over 50 (instead of early 30s) it all would have been free. I don’t understand preventative seems to be if I don’t really need something done it is free but if I do, pay up.

Anyway on August 3rd, the colonoscopy went okay (meaning I don’t remember it) except for me showing the IV nurse my butt because I  was wearing a hospital gown and laid down on my stomach when she told me to get comfortable, honestly thought she was the one to put the tube in. She was embarrassed but nice. ALSO THEY HAVE YOU LAY ON YOUR SIDE to put the tube in. I did not know that prior.

The doctor comes out to the waiting room some minutes after I was up and about and told me I had a small tumor (1 inch long, 1/10th inch wide) that needed to come out. As tiny as it was, it looked like a monster in pictures. He said this LOUDLY in front of a handful of people in the waiting room; isn’t there a law against that? I felt bad for the people in that waiting room having to hear my results while worried about what theirs might be.

My doctor’s staff sat on the results for a day. The results came the following Wed. They called at 930am to tell me that they would be sent to my primary doctor (a wonderful Sutter Gould doctor). I called at 4pm as the fax had not been sent in yet. They told me they would get to them when they got to them (their doc was going on vacation the following day. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ONE WHO GOES THRU A BIG HEALTH CONCERN MAY HAVE TO DEAL WITH, CONSTANT DOCTOR VACATIONS) and not in a polite way, last time I am seeing that gastro doctor.

On Thursday, morning my primary doctor called and told me to get to his office right away. At that point, I knew it was cancer. My girlfriend met me and at 230 that afternoon, my doctor told me I had colon cancer (very rare condition for people my age). We thanked him afterward cause he broke it so gently, a great doctor.