Bryan Has a New Tattoo
a schrödinger's polyp update
Hi, it’s me. We got some really great news this week, so I’m forgoing the suspense and leading with that. When we arrived at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center on Thursday for our appointment with the multidisciplinary team, the oncologist walked in and said, “Dr. So-and-So the radiation oncologist won’t be joining us for this meeting today because you don’t need radiation.”
She had just walked into the room and hadn’t even sat down yet when she said this.
Sometimes I forget how much I imagine my life to be a movie, like The Truman Show, so when someone eliminates all suspense and just cuts to the chase with no drama, it feels unexpected. My brain took a minute to catch up to this news – I was expecting a long explanation and buried lead. But no, the oncologist was all smiles and said we would likely not see her again.
Following this appointment we took the elevators to a different floor and met with the surgeon. This meeting required some… How shall I say? … preparation on Bryan’s part. Here’s a hint:
So it seemed like the appointment had this preparation time built into it, but after checking in at reception we were still waiting after the preparation time had passed and we were closing in on the actual exam time. I approached reception and tried to discreetly make sure I understood what was happening.
Me: “Hi, my husband has an appointment with the doctor in a little bit, but he’s supposed to do a thing before he sees her and I’m just wondering if that’s built into the appointment or if we’re supposed to figure that out somewhere else?”
Reception: “You’re all checked in, we’re just running a little behind.”
(I ignored this pun, but it took extreme focus to shut down my giggle reflex.)
Me: “Okay yeah, but he’s supposed to … he needs a … there’s a thing he needs to do beforehand and I’m just wondering if that’s scheduled into what we’re doing here because it’s supposed to happen an hour before his exam.”
At some point in this conversation I did use the word enema, but I whispered it like my college friend said her nosey old aunt did when she gossiped about things that were shocking and controversial to her, like “Did you hear that your cousin has a new boyfriend? And she’s <whispers> pregnant!”
Anyway, the receptionist apologized for the wait, reassured me we were in the right place, and gave me a $5 voucher for the hospital cafe as an apology for the inconvenience. This is going to be a whole other post at some point, but it’s little gestures like this that have made the experience so surreal.
Like, it’s the extreme customer-centered belief that having cancer sucks enough, so let’s buy someone a cookie if they have to wait too long to get their enema. I’m here for it. And I did feel better, thankyouverymuch.
Surgery is scheduled for April.
The surgeon will remove a section of Bryan’s pipe and reattach the loose ends. After the pathology report and a visual inspection, we’ll know whether or not Bryan will need chemotherapy. But all signs point to this being pretty straight forward and unremarkable.
Oh, and here’s a fun fact for ya:
Apparently the outside of the colon can look perfectly healthy even with malignancy inside, so way back at February’s initial colonoscopy, the colonoscopist tattoo'd the colon wall where the polyp is so the surgeon can find it during surgery.
My honey has a new tattoo. 🤣
Until next time,
Great update, Jen! I always thought that if I ever got a tattoo (I have no plans to do so, Mum, if you're reading this) I'd have it in a tucked-away kind of place. The colon certainly ticks the box for 'tucked away', but even so, if I had the choice I'd choose a discreet part of my epidermis for the canvas rather than an internal organ. Huge respect for Bryan!
Thanks for the good news update! “Running a little behind...” that’s my kind of humor! And that colon blow slit is one way all-time favorites! So glad no need for radiation.