Sunday, May 01, 2011

The silver lining to chemotherapy

It exists and is proven to fight cancer.

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer 4 years ago. He went through a bowel re-section surgery and has had a long and difficult recovery. Thankfully the doctors had determined that the cancer had not spread and did not recommend chemotherapy or radiation treatment at the time. The whole family was relieved that he did not need to go through further treatment.

Fast forward four years.

A colonoscopy determined that the cancer has returned. It was caught early and thankfully, once again, is localized to a single site. But this time, they are recommending chemotherapy and radiation, followed by another surgery to remove the tumor. They hope that the treatment will stop the cancer from recurring.

My dad couldn't be more relieved. He is so glad there are treatment options. He and his wife were reassured in speaking to the surgeon about the road ahead; people have been down this road before, and the doctors know what to do based on those patient's outcomes.

So while I at first was dismayed at his having to go through chemo and radiation, he was happy to have that option, to keep the cancer at bay. So yes, there is a silver lining to chemotherapy.

Four years ago he kept a log of his health and the long road to recovery. He's found through the years that it's helped other people who have had similar surgery, and he's continued to get comments and emails from people who find his blog, looking for information on recovering from a bowel re-section. I like to think it's an early draft of a book titled "What Doctors Don't Tell You About Your Pooper." If you can tolerate reading all the details of the rumblings and workings of a GI system, follow his blog at

I believe his blog will have a happy ending. But positive thoughts and prayers never hurt.

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