April 3rd, 2018


"Rectum? Damn near killed "em!" - Classic Little Johnny joke

I guess when you tell a tale such as this, it helps to begin at the beginning, as they say. There are no reasons for what is happening; no "smoking guns", no lessons to tell children or teenagers as there are for smoking and sunscreen. Sometimes, shit happens.

A couple of years back, I was driving back and forth across the country (mostly because that is the only time that I don't have to listen to anyone else) as I am want to do. The journey is long, but enjoyable, and I get to listen to a lot of music of my choosing. Discovering Denver was another perk, but more on that later.

After returning to SoCal, I had some pain in the anal region (from now on, I will just use butt). When in the shower, a little inspecting found a swollen hemorrhoid. Off to WalMart for some over-the-counter cream and within a few days it was no longer an issue. Over the next couple of months I would have a flare and, in general, the offending tissue would be pacified. During one suck flare up, I noticed quite a bit of blood after using the can. Hmm. As I read up on the little buggers, I found that this was relatively normal.

Last year during one of my jaunts, I stopped at Dad's house for a visit (Hi, Pop!). Shortly after my arrival, I felt a rapid need to use the facilities. Lots of blood. Lots. Made me feel a little light-headed, but I seemed to be ok and that was the end of it. Back in SoCal, the movie of the week was "Return of the 'Rhoids". Again with the cream. This time, however, it didn't seem to work as well. Let's try the suppositories. Still swollen and sore. Hmm....

One night in January, the bleeding started again. After a short episode, I crawled into bed. Around midnight, I felt the violent urge to go. Upon seating myself, the bleeding began in earnest. I passed out. When i cam to, I cleaned up the mess and went back to bed. I felt better in the morning and continued on with my so called life.

Near the beginning of March, I started hanging out with a girl and the whole "having to wear a pad to keep from bleeding through my pants" was getting a little old. So I made an appointment with a prominent proctologist and hopefully get something done with my friendly hemorrhoid. Upon examination, the doc said "that is not a hemorrhoid" and took a biopsy. During the exit talk, he stated that it was most likely squamus cell carcinoma; a type of skin cancer. The treatment would be simple radiation and chemo and that would be the end of it. As luck would have it (or not), the biopsy came back as adenoidal cell carcinoma, which has to do with the glands. Cheese and rice.

Being that my only granddaughter's bithday was coming up, I made my appointment with the recommended surgeon for May 20th. The surgeon found another tumor in my rectum and felt that this was the cause of the tumor on the outside. His recommendation was chemo/radiation followed by removal of everything south of the colon. After struggling with trying to get treatment in the LA area, I decided that a short stint in Southern Illinois would serve me better...hence another road trip.