One day at a time.

The results of the spinal biopsy came in. It was indeed colorectal cancer in my vertebrae. When I asked how it got there she said it could have been there from the beginning, but simply dormant. OR that it recently spread from the pulmonary nodules through the bloodstream to the spine. NO real way to know.

Whatever the story, the docs are confident that they got both spots that were in the brain and that they got most of it in the spine. The intention of the radiation I am beginning next week should stop the rest of the tumor in the spine. They are incredibly confident.

As of now the plan is simply to do the radiation and then readdress the overall situation.

For now I think I am just going to take things one day at a time and face the radiation each day.

My doc at this point thinks that after the radiation it may be simply a time to take a break while monitoring closely.

I’m still recovering. The back surgery was pretty intense and I still am struggling to do every day things. I did manage to work the entire time thus far by organizing courses and assignments online. I will be returning to work next week with some help of a disabilities team who will transport me, carry my things, etc.

It should be interesting. For now, I am resting when I can and working when I can.
Everyone has been relatively surprised at the things I have done. Me, I’ve been frustrated at the things that hold me back. But I will get there a little each day.

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About Cheryl

My name is Cheryl. I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in February 2011 when I was 42 years old. This is a blog about my journey to survival.
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5 Responses to One day at a time.

  1. hankborden says:

    You are truly a strong person, and I am proud of you. Bless you.

  2. Kathleen says:

    I am amazed that you continue to work throughout your recovery. I hope you are doing some physical therapy to help yourself, but you are doing the most important thing after major surgery: keep moving (even though it hurts)! My doc said he has so many patients–even young ones–who just sit around and accept that they will be forever affected by their injuries, surgeries, etc. A self-fulfilling prophecy. But they did a lot of work on your spine; try to dig into your seemingly bottomless depths of patience because recovery will take a long time.

    I shattered my hip almost eight months ago. I have physical therapy twice a week and work on my own in-between. I’m still in constant pain and walk with a limp. I ditched the cane after the wheelchair and walker. But I look with longing at my horses and am determined to get back on in coming months. I am just resigned that it’s going to take awhile and a lot of hard work to ever be close to normal.

    An occupational therapist, also, can guide you with tips, tricks and gadgets to help you accomplish those basic tasks that you find challenging right now. I’m surprised they didn’t insist on sending you to a rehab facility? Consider having a visiting nurse service come to your home if you haven’t already.

  3. Cheryl says:

    They actually did want to sent me to a rehab. I refused. They have set up PT and OT 5 days a week at home. With radiation slated to start next week and almost constant doctor appointments, it just makes sense to have them come here. The university is working on making some disability services available so that I can literally have someone drive me to a parking lot on campus and then they can pick me up and deliver me to my classroom doors, carrying my things for me. Only 4 weeks of the semester left, so it is important for me to fulfill my responsibilities. Thankfully I work online all summer long so will have 3 months to recoup. I did have to cancel my role in the student trip to Costa Rica as there was no way I could physically do it.

    I am working with palliative care to manage the pain. That is important to me because my instinct is to just deal with it until it passes. At this point, I now understand that it isn’t going to be a quick fix. I feel very lucky that I had such fantastic neurosurgeons though. I could have lost all or a portion of my spinal cord or nerves. Amazingly they protected it all!

    Always thinking of you my friend and wondering how you are doing.

    xxoo- Cher

    • Kathleen says:

      Having professionals come to your home is the best way to go. The therapists in the rehab facilities are paid by how many patients they can cram in, and you will get much better treatment this way. My insurance no longer covers my treatment, but my doc gets a kick out of working with me and charges me such a reasonable fee that it is totally worth it.

      Glad to hear they are giving you pain meds. They were stingy with me. Ever worried about creating an addict especially with new federal laws, so I live with pain. I recommend asking for lots of it now and stashing it, because they will likely cut you off soon enough even though the pain–I’m sorry to say–will probably last awhile. Don’t be a heroine; the pain takes a toll on your body. I don’t like to take pills either, but sometimes you have to.

  4. goldeygrad97 says:

    Sending love your way.

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