Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saw Two of My Doctors Tuesday

I saw my surgeon on Tuesday November 25th and he was happy with my progress. On Monday I realized I am no longer experiencing foot drop and that's very positive. The only lingering symptom is some slight numbness on the bottom of my big toe and the toe next to it. My doctor expects me to be able to return to work two & a half weeks from now. It's a little more time off than I had hoped, but I will do exactly as his says. This is clearly his arena and not mine.

I also saw my oncologist, the new Chief of Hemotology at Guthrie, on Tuesday and he said all my blood work was great, other than an increased white blood cell count. Considering I had surgery just a little over 24-hours prior to the blood test, it would make sense my white blood cell count was up. He also recommended I seriously consider being tested for the genetic predisposition for colon cancer. He said if I do have a genetic predisposition for colon cancer then my son would need to start having annual colonoscopies at age 26 - 10 years prior to the age I was diagnosed. If I do not have the genetic predisposition for colon cancer, then he could begin annual colonoscopies at age 36...I think. I find out more about that at my next appointment.

Considering I was a Stage II Rectal Cancer when I was diagnosed (at age 36), it would seem the start date for my son's annual colonoscopies would be based on when the cancer likely to have started, not when it was found. The cancer probably started two years prior to diagnosis and perhaps a cancerous or pre-cancerous polyp was what preceded the cancer a couple years prior to that. So I think it's more logical to start his colonoscopies at age 32 if I'm not predispositioned or age 22 if I am. Sorry kiddo. I wish you didn't even need to think about it. xoxo

Friday, November 19, 2010

In the Clear

I'm happy to post that the withdrawals were over by Saturday. Now I know if a doctor treats me with narcotics in the future, I will need to plan for a few additional days of recovery to manage the withdrawals. Bummer, but it's good to know what the necessary preparation will be.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Post-Surgery Withdrawals/Recovery

On Monday, I underwent spinal surgery. Two small pieces of spinal disc were somehow chipped off of one of my discs and stuck in the nerve canal of one of my vertebrae. The surgery was a success and requires two to three weeks of recovery.

During my pre-surgery meeting, my surgeon told me he would use Dilaudid, which is an opioid and a derivative of morphine, for my pain relief and then prescribe morphine for the pain. I immediately let him know I had previously been on medically prescribed morphine for a year and was not interested in having to manage withdrawals and would prefer something else. He said he would accommodate my request regarding the post-surgery pain management and use Tylenol with Codeine along with muscle relaxants.

Well, I stopped taking the Tylenol w/ Codeine and the muscle relaxants on Thursday morning and have since been experiencing what I can only describe as withdrawal symptoms. I have no concerns about addiction issues. I'm just disappointed that I'm going through withdrawals after being on narcotics for only 48 hours. And perhaps that's what I can expect as a result of a being on morphine for a year. Hopefully the withdrawal symptoms will subside in a day or two and not drag on for 10 days like the morphine withdrawals did.

On a good note, Extra-Strength Tylenol seems to be enough to manage the post-surgery pain. If all goes well, my medical leave from work will only last two weeks at the most.