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Facebook by the Hospital Bed

I'm not a fan of Facebook. It seems an overwhelming blob of fodder constantly raining down on me. The first few days in the hospital were much the same. I have always had the ability to come out of anesthesia well and seem alert. This is good for me, because I like to be aware of what is going on around me. The down side of that is that it makes me look good. I don't mean pretty. I mean it makes me look as if nothing has been wrong and I feel the top of the world. When that is added to my effort to appear happy and upbeat, I seem to be much better than I actually am.

I love all the people who came to visit me. I would not have changed anything about how much time and effort they all went through to come all the way to Murfreesboro and visit. That is a two hour commute from my hometown. I appreciate so much that so many people care so much about me. It made me feel good to know that, and helped me to recover faster.

My advice to anyone who is going to have a hospital stay afte…

Recovery

As of October 1st all restrictions have been lifted!

The past 7 weeks since returning home have seemed like a year or two. For the first couple of weeks I was mobile around the house, but not steady on my feet.

Getting back to normal-
This week I have burned my right hand twice and cut my left hand. Getting back to normal is not easy.

Here are some things that really helped during my recovery at home:

hiking stick (for getting around the house and yard)grabber (bending over was just not possible for a few weeks)step stool (for getting into bed, it's a high mattress)chair (a good comfy recliner to lounge in)bed with table (for all the things I needed to have handy at my bedside)toilet seat (for a higher seat for not being able to bend over or to a low toilet)shower seat (having to keep surgery area dry and not being steady on my feet)

good things about being served my food at home already porportioned (lots of work for my sister)

bad and good things about reaching milestones (too mu…

Lab Results

I just spoke with my doctor on the phone. She said that the results from the detailed analysis were so low that no further treatment is indicated! I will not need an oncologist or chemo/radiation therapy. She reminded me to keep my appointments with her for frequent lab work and to have a colonoscopy every July. Thank God that, for the moment, I am cancer-free!

Post Surgery Followup

Today I went for my post surgery followup with Dr. White, the surgeon who took my cancer away. I had a good report and appear to be recovering well from surgery. It is a long, slow recovery getting back into life again. I am realizing that the end of surgery is not the end of the ordeal.

I also noticed that I keep asking "Am I cancer-free?" I feel I need to be continually reassured about that.  I even follow that question with "So there's no cancer anywhere else in my body?" I wonder how long it will take to stop doing that, if ever. I cannot convey how traumatic it was to be told I have cancer and to feel so close to death.

My greatest concern before surgery was the possibility of dying during surgery. I knew that was so remote that it should not have been a concern. Maybe it was misplaced fear of having cancer or general fear of what I call 'being on the slab'. Before I went to the hospital I went through the house and told my sister what to do with …

Home Again!

I am home again! Yesterday I was discharged from the hospital after an 8 night stay. The doctors, nurses and staff were caring and compassionate people. It was a long, hard road getting over the shock of surgery, and I will write more about that as I feel up to it.

As for now I want to say that I am virtually cancer free! It will take about two weeks for testing to bring results of all the stuff taken from my body. At that time we will know if there is anything still in me, if I need chemo or radiation therapy and how much of a risk I am for redeveloping cancer.

I look forward to sharing the rest of my story of the year I fought cancer. Please stay with me as I continue to recover. I'm very tired and slow to get back to 'normal' over the next 6 weeks. Remember my motto song from Smash Mouth as they utter: I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down.

FIGHT ON!

Ice Chips From Heaven

This is a description of the technical experiences I had in the hospital.

I have a phrase I think of to refer to my hospital stay. I call it "ice chips from Heaven". I'll explain why in a minute.

My surgery lasted about 4 or so hours. For me it was only a second. At one moment in time I'm being put on the slab and being told I'm fixing to go to sleep. A microsecond later I'm rolling down the hall toward my room. For my family it must have seemed a lifetime. No one has talked about it, but I imagine them sitting in a waiting room or lobby, and someone getting up every now and then to walk around, get coffee or just pace. I can't imagine how much torture it must have been for them.

There were lots of people in my room waiting for me after surgery. I can't remember who they all were for the drugs in me. I do remember everybody being surprised at how alert I was and participating in the conversation. I remember my nephew and I singing songs from Rocky Ho…

Email From Casey

This was sent to me by beautiful friend Casey, a cancer survivor
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"I had cancer, but cancer did not have me. Cancer was not who I was. It was only a bend in the road that was my life's existence. An unexpected detour on my path. It was a lesson in the cosmic schoolroom that is human existence. So, I paused to rest and heal and study the lesson before I moved on to my life beyond cancer. I did not give in to fear and I was not discouraged by setbacks. Setbacks were simply opportunities to review the lesson. I was not ashamed of my scars. My scars were the brushstrokes in the masterpiece that was my life. I was thankful for the many blessings cancer brought into my life; People I never would have known, Love that I had never been still or quiet enough to witness, Humility I needed, strength I thought I had lost, Courage I never knew I had. I remembered that I could still have fun and that was okay- Even healthy - To be silly. I remembered that to find the joy …

Thoughts on Being Diagnosed with Cancer

Screening & Diagnosis
The Curtis family has been plagued with cancer for generations. It seems that most of the time there is a Curtis either battling cancer or dying of cancer. Over the years I have seen how cancer torments it's victims with fear and pain, and how it disables entire families with the stress of finances, scheduling medical visits and emotional turmoil. After the death of my uncle Beachel about one year ago when I thought to myself "who's next", I never dreamed it would be me.

Over the past 7 months I began noticing some small changes in my health. I had gained weight, developed a urinary tract infection and seen small streaks of blood in my stool. I went to the Warren County Health Department, where I was treated for the infection. While there the doctors urged me to get a colonoscopy due to my age. The colonoscopy was entirely painless and was completed in less than half a day. I was informed of a mass that was discovered in my sigmoid colon, an…

The Big 'C'

I want to share with everyone my recent bad news. Two days ago I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I'm in the process of having tests to find out if it has spread or if there are any other masses anywhere else. Right now the plan is to remove the tumor next Thursday. It will be major abdominal surgery removing about one foot of my colon and about 8 weeks of recovering. As the days go by I will find
 out more about the intensity of the cancer and make plans accordingly.

I continue to be captain of our youth team and continue work hard for Relay with our Dancing With Our Stars fund raiser this November. Everyone's support and prayers comfort me.

Thank you to everyone who joins the fight against cancer through Relay for Life. Your hard work and compassion will help to end this killer in the near future. Our work is of utmost importance.

Thanks for listening. Keep me in your thoughts as I take some time to fight for myself. And in the words of the Trojans- FIGHT ON!

Darryl Curtis, …

Renaissance Faire 2012

Brooke's 4th Birthday Party