I am crap at updating this, I really am... or maybe it is a good sign that I don't feel the need to blog everyday?
Quick update... before a bigger update midweek.
Tomorrow Lauriel has a sigmoidoscopy scheduled. Same idea as a colonoscopy, but they only do the sigmoid portion of the bowel (the lower portion), as you can see in the image below.
What will the sigmoidoscopy tell us? Essentially, the surgeon will be able to look at the tumor and be able to measure it to see how much of an impact the chemo and radiation have had. From that (and I imagine from a couple of other factors), he will be able to determine whether or not Lauriel will need surgery.
As I have mentioned before, if she requires surgery, they will have to remove her sphincter, the end result being that she will be cancer free (yay!) but will have a permanent colostomy bag. There is a 15% chance the tumor will be completely gone (meaning no surgery), but I think we are both preparing for the more statistically likely outcome.
It's only tonight that I got up the courage to read up about colostomy bags, and even went as far as looking at a video on YouTube, of a woman replacing her colostomy bag. Tears threatened, but didn't break free. It looked so scary - part of this woman's body, that should be on the inside, being on the outside... and the way she was touching it to clean it. Confronting, is the word to describe it, I guess.
All I could think was how weird it must be... but then I realised, I have to take medication every day for the rest of my life - and I don't think twice about it now. Friends of ours, their little dude needs medication daily to keep him alive - and it is just normal for them. A colostomy bag might not be as 'simple' as swallowing a pill or having an injection, but I have to imagine it would soon become normal, just another part of the daily routine.
I think another reason it is confronting is because - if the surgery happens - a colostomy bag attached to my wife's stomach, will be the first visible reminder of the cancer. We know the tumor is there (or maybe it isn't?!!!), but we haven't seen it on a daily basis. The medication effects were present - but they weren't visible (well, they maybe would have been if I'd cared to look!) - she didn't lose her hair with chemo, there was no vomiting.
This cancer has very much been invisible... but it may become visible after the cancer itself is gone. It's such a weird, weird thing. If surgery is the next stop on our journey, there will be a visible reminder for the rest of our lives.
I will update tomorrow when we are home, and then I will update on Wednesday - when we see the surgeon and find out which path we go down next on this weird little journey.