BiographyThere is no type of cancer (appendix cancer) listed for what I had, but since it affected my colon, I will list it here and tell my story.
In late June '09, I started having sharp pains in my lower right side of my abdomen. I assumed it could be my appendix, but I did not have any of the symptoms associated with it, aside from the pain, I was good to go.
After a few weeks, the pain continued on and off, so finally I went to see my family physician, he said that it could be a strained abdominal muscle. He did say that it could be my appendix, but I was not running a fever and did not have any diarhea, plus I was eating as I normally do and was excercising every day.
So he put me on some pain meds and muscle relaxers, the pain went away for about a week, then returned a week later, it then went away and came back a week after that.
I then went to see my Doctor again, he then scheduled me for a CT SCAN. I had the CT SCAN done and about an hour and a half later I got a call from the Doc saying that he reviewed my CT SCAN results and that my appendix was ruptured and that I get to the hospital emergency room asap.
So I went in and had lots of blood drawn and was getting pumped with antibiotics right away.
I met with the surgeon on call, he said that my appendix was ruptured, but was walled off and that he recommend that we wait six to eight weeks before taking it out. That would allow all the inflammation and irritation to go down and would prevent having to do more than just remove the appendix. I spent that night and part of the next in the hospital before being released home.
So eight weeks later, I went in to have my appendix removed. My surgeon initially when in arthoscopic, but then he realized that they would have to do an open appendectomy.
My appendix was hard as concrete, so my one hour surgery turned into a five hour surgery. My surgeon said that his hands hurt from scrapping away at my appendix.
After surgery as I was waiting in the recovery room, I knew something was wrong just by looking at the clock on the wall. I was wheeled in just after 8 a.m., but it was now just after 1 p.m..
When I was in the hospital room assigned to me, the Doctor came in and spoke to me and my wife and gave us the news that my appendix was cancerous. Just as he said those words, the wall came down in front of me and it seemed like my life came to a grinding halt. I held it together pretty well until the Doctor left the room, then I broke down. Now there were all the questions and no answers.
I met with an oncologist the very same day, so that was good, that made me feel better. He said that his type of cancer was rare and that he wanted to do some research on it before we figured out what steps we would take next.
So I was in the hospital for another five days, with an irrigation tube in my abdomen suctioning out any possible pieces of appendix that may have gotten away during surgery.
I was released from the hospital on a Tuesday and a week later met with my surgeon, he said that it was possible that I may need to have a hemicolectomy to ensure that the cancer did not spread. I met with my oncologist and he recommended that a hemicolectomy would be the best step to take next.
So three weeks after having the open appendectomy, I had the hemicolectomy, another five hour surgery, I would require some blood as well since I have some blood loss.
I had part of my colon remove and then the remainder attached to my small intestine and had 34 cm of my small bowels removed, along with seventeen lymph nodes removed.
My recovery from the hemi was terrible, I had an incision from mid rib, down to my belly button, around the right side and down to my waist, all that was stapled together, in addition I had four binding straps holding my abdomen together, they went in on one side of the incision and out the other. They were the worst, I had one strap what just hurt all the time, I only found relief if I was laying down or on pain meds.
I was on a liquid diet for a few days, then went on a soft diet, but that did not work out well for me, everything I tried I threw back up. I was running a fever and my heart rate was high. So I had a CT SCAN to see if there was any internal leakage, but all was negative.
I was able to go home the following afternoon which was nice, but I was still in pain, I got up to walk every so often, but I mostly lay in bed. I would tire easily and had no energy at all.
My body was trying to get used to the new "piping" so to speak.
It's been a little over a month now, I met with my oncologist last Friday and I am cancer free. I'll require testing every few months to ensure that it has not come back, but for now I'm free.
He commended me for going thru with the hemi, he said that they did find a few cancer cells, but it had not spread.
This entire experience was a punch in the gut for me, the routine appendectomy turned into someting more. And to add to it, I got a case of the shingles about four weeks before my hemi operation.
I lost lots of weight from this and can't be too far from a bathroom, but I'm learing as the days go by on what I can eat, not eat and what makes me need to go to the bathroom right away. If anyone has any questions on this please feel free to email me and ask I will be more than willing to answer them. Take care all, be well and God bless.