Thursday, January 21, 2010

My situation, in summary

In case you aren't aware of what's going on with me, here's the short version. Or, at least, as short as Shelly is capable of writing.

In December, after a colonoscopy showed some scar tissue and atypical biopsies, I learned I had cancer in my colon. In a matter of days, I was sent to Swedish Hospital for a major surgery to remove the mass. On Dec 10, 2009, they performed a "partial colecotomy" and removed the tumor as well as 4 cancerous lymph nodes. (They also removed a bunch of other surrounding colon and nodes but all that proved to be cancer-free.)

It was an asskicker of a surgery. They say it takes 6-8 weeks to heal from it, and even longer for some internal functions to return to normal. (For some reason, I got cocky. I figured, if anyone could, I COULD heal in maybe 3 weeks, tops. Be back in the pool by MLK Day.) I was flat on my back in the hospital for a week, doped up. Then I came home and really spent the next 4 weeks doing mostly nothing, just healing. My 12-inch scar slowly started to flatten out and shrink down nicely. I started to get energy back.

A follow-up PET scan showed no more cancer in my colon (HURRAH!) but one small spot in my liver and one small-ish spot in my left lower lung. This is not what you want to hear. It means the cancer is now considered "stage 4 colon cancer." Even though these spots are in different organs, they are still considered "colon cancer".

SO! I am now on chemotherapy at the Swedish Cancer Institute. My doctor is the renowned Dr. Henry Kaplan, and he is awesome so far. Today I just finished up my second chemo, and so far, so good. I've got a ton going for me, among which is my young age, my otherwise great health, my humongous support team (you!), and my positive attitude. For more info on the first chemo experience, please see my first post. It's way more interesting than this one.

I will do chemo every other week, on Thursdays. Next session, they will be adding the wonderdrug, "Avastan" which blocks blood flow to tumors. In other words, it KICKS THE TUMOR'S ASS AND SENDS IT BACK TO THE DEPTHS OF HELL FROM WHENCE IT CAME. (On a side note, who invents these drugs like Avastan, and how can I get their contact info? I would like to clean their homes or mow their lawns or something. I am serious.)

Next steps:
Two more chemo sessions. Then, a scan, to see what good we've done thus far, how much the two spots have shrunk, and then we'll know how long I can expect to be on chemo.

That's all I know for now, but I'll update you when I have more exciting cancer news to share!
xo, S


  1. Very nice, Ms Baker Butler. I will work on getting Dr-Dr-creator-team-of-people who made up Avastan, for real. Then I can drive (or fly?) you to their house and photograph you mowing the lawn. That will be blog-tastic. xxx, dr wss

  2. "Avastan" sounds like a drug they give to pirates. And everyone knows that drugs designed for pirates have to be AWESOME!