Eric’s Pesky Body: Chapter 2: The Rectum

(this was posted earlier on the CaringBridge page that is now inactive)

Journal entry by Marissa Phillips Brown — 9/8/2016

Well Chapter 1 has been ongoing for several years with Eric’s Pesky Lungs and life with Antisynthetase Syndrome, aka AsS. So it’s only fitting that Chapter 2 literally deals with his ass.

Here is Eric’s telling of the past 9 days.

So… as some you already know, I turned 50 this year. Just like the well-behaved person you all know me to be, I had a routine colonoscopy as directed by my doctor on Monday, August 29th.

Well… things didn’t really turn out as well as we hoped. The doctor found a mass just inside the entrance (exit?) of my rectum. He started to remove some of the softer parts of the mass but as he cut deeper into it, discovered it was larger and of a harder consistency than when he began.

He told us what he had found but would not know for sure until the biopsies came back. We received a call that following Thursday letting us know that every piece that he cut off had cancer in it.

Yesterday, September 7th, I started the day early with a 6:00 am endoscopic ultrasound at one location, then a 10:00 am MRI followed by a CT scan at a second location. My day ended with an appointment with the surgeon who will be removing the mass.

No roses. No chocolates. No romantic music. No rufee.

After violating me ever so gently, he explained to Marissa and I what we were dealing with: Stage 2 Rectal Cancer. He said it is possibly only Stage 1 or might even be Stage 3 but the treatment is virtually the same regardless.

We still do not have the oncologist or radiologist on board yet but when we do the treatment will start with about 6 weeks of chemo and radiation followed by a two month break while they do their work and shrink the mass. Then the surgeon will remove all of my rectum, part of my colon and the surrounding lymph glands. He will then re-attach the remaining colon to my anus and install a colostomy bag. I will be off work to heal for about 4 weeks or so and wear the colostomy bag for around 4 months then undergo another surgery to have it removed.

I have already talked to my boss and signed up for FMLA.

I know that God will get us through this and we ask for your continued prayers and support as we tackle this latest challenge.

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