When The Phone Call Is Good News

thank you

Under normal circumstances, the message that “the doctor will call you“, would bring a sense of relief. This time was anything but normal and I felt anxious. The pathology report had come back two weeks after my colon cancer surgery and my surgeon promised she would call with the findings.

Six weeks ago, a colonoscopy detected that I had colon cancer. Within two days, my doctor at Cleveland Clinic, who specializes in complex laparoscopic and robotic colorectal surgery, scheduled three CT scans to see if there were any signs of the cancer spreading to other parts of my body. I was lucky that the scans showed that the tumor was limited to the colon. However, it would not be known if the tumor had grown through the wall of the colon until it was removed and could be examined by pathologists. My doctor scheduled surgery a month from when I had my colonoscopy.

Cleveland Clinic, as well as hospitals around the world, have a program called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery or ERAS. The thinking behind this program is the healthier you are going into surgery, the quicker and easier your recovery will be. It consists of a few easy steps to follow in the weeks before elective surgery that can reduce the risk of complications and may even speed recovery. It includes doing what you can to improve you activity levels, maintain health and a healthy body weight before surgery that may help you recover and return to daily activities quicker after the surgery. I was told to walk, do easy exercises and eat healthy until surgery,

Two weeks ago, I had a right hemicolectomy, where a portion of my colon was removed laparoscopically. I went into surgery at noon and was in my room at 5 p.m. Later in the evening, I was sitting in a chair having chicken broth and the next day was walking in the halls. I spent two nights in the hospital and on the third day, after a chicken salad sandwich and tomato soup, my surgeon told me that I was doing well enough to go home. I was never in enough pain to warrant opioids, which are discouraged, and once home, took Tylenol only when needed. Each day that passes, I’ve felt better and stronger.

My surgeon promised that she would call once the pathology report was completed and presented at Cleveland Clinic’s weekly tumor board meeting where colorectal cancer cases are reviewed. For the past two weeks, I’ve tried not to worry about the outcome of the report but felt anxious when the doctor’s office manager called to let me know that the report was in and the doctor would be calling.

When the phone call came, I took a deep breath, answered and put the phone on speaker so that my husband and I could learn the results from the pathology analysis. I could tell from my doctor’s voice that she had good news and it was. We were relieved to learn that the tumor was Stage 1 cancer and that I would not require any treatments and that Stage I cancers have the lowest risk of cancer recurrence. We will meet for a follow up visit on Monday so that she can answer any questions and set a date for another colonoscopy a year from now. She is also going to arrange for an oncologist who will become part of my health team going forward. During this whole process, it would have been easy to feel hopeless but I had a wonderful team of professionals that made sure I remained positive and received the best care possible.

I’m lucky to have my wonderful husband who has constantly been by my side, caring for me and has kept me focused on my ability to cope with the challenges that have come my way this year. I have family and friends who have been at the ready to help the two of us any way they can. Along with them, I am also lucky to have blogging friends and readers who have touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes with their comments, good wishes and prayers for my recovery.

I’m blessed and thank each and every person who has given me so much encouragement and support, thank you.


Posted by

I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

54 thoughts on “When The Phone Call Is Good News

  1. I’m so glad to hear this, Karen! It must have been such an overwhelming relief to get that positive news. Sorry you had to go through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, but good to hear it was easily treatable and you have support from your husband, family and friends. All best wishes to you.

  2. This is such wonderful news to celebrate with you! I am keeping you close to my heart with big virtual hugs. Much love to you my friend!!

  3. Oh Kay! Super, wonderful ! I am so so so happy for you and for your husband, for your friends and loved ones – and for us your blog-readers too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done you, for being so brave and optimistic throughout.

  4. It is thrilling that so medical innovations allowed your annual checkups, discovery, new kinds of surgery and treatments to deliver this great news! Thanks for your willingness to share this journey along with all your back-roads journeys, tales, and recipes!

  5. Praise be, Karen!! I am filled with great JOY for you! ๐Ÿ˜€ CC is amazing!!! I have been so grateful for all their tender care in my own CA management. Hugs to you as I celebrate the GOOD NEWS with you!

  6. Such wonderful news my friend!
    Prayers have been answered and more will continue.
    I am so glad you kept strong through this all along with your husband.
    Sending you a great big hug as we rejoice in your happy news.

    PS My son works at Cleveland Clinic downtown Cleveland. Itโ€™s an amazing hospital and blocks long.
    Iโ€™m only one hour and 45 minutes away from the Cleveland Clinic from where we live here in Pennsylvania.

  7. Hi Karen, we are so happy to hear such good news. What a relief! We look forward to many more good times together. Big hugs Suzanne and Don

  8. This post should have had trumpets blaring, because this is good news for sure! Congratulations on doing your part and for what sounds like a very talented medical team. 2022 has been a medical year for both of us. My husband had life saving surgery at DH in Lebanon and is doing well, but just found out he needs a second surgery to correct one thing. We’re waiting on a date and hope we have good news too. May the rest of 2022 be smooth sailing for you and your husband. Best wishes from NH to you.

  9. Wonderful news Karen I am so happy for you. Stay well and let your friends and family spoil you for a little while.

  10. Iโ€™m so glad to hear your good news. Having loved through breast cancer, I know all too well hope anxious one can get waiting for the phone call. And I also know โ€” very well โ€” how important, how reassuring, the support of your husband is. God bless you on your recovery.

  11. I’m so happy to hear this…. I was holding my breath the whole time I was reading until I really saw the good news. I’ve so enjoyed your blog over the past few years and hoping the best for you. Blessings to you and your family!!

  12. I am so glad to read of this great news. Your story literally scared me into action. I finally found the courage to face my fears and to schedule a long overdue medical appointment. I underwent an endoscopy, a colonoscopy and a CT scan 2 wks ago. Thankfully I was lucky….
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you completejourney toward complete recovery.

  13. Oh Karen, this is brilliant. I’m just thrilled for you! I know that wait-wait-wait feeling, just wanting to know, to get on with it. It’s interminable. The good news is so wonderful. Big smiles. I know the Clinic well, my cousin even works there, and I have the highest regard for them. I’m so glad you were at a place such as this. I don’t know if you live in the Cleveland area, if it is close to home, but I am glad that YOU are home and with such happy news. I hope your recovery is speedy.

  14. Karen, this is absolutely wonderful news! I’m so glad you can have the freedom to move forward in good health. It impresses me to learn of the pre-surgery emphasis and focus on health preparation! I know you’re going to do very well, and I’m just so relieved for you. The waiting on results of this sort is so hard!! But when the good news comes, wow! What relief. โค๏ธ

  15. I am so happy to read of your good news, congratulations. Your medical team sounds awesome. Itโ€™s fabulous that you got surgery as quickly as you did, sadly wouldnโ€™t be the case in Ontario. I wish you many years of healthy blogging ahead!

  16. Karen, as I recall, you reside in FLA. Traveling to the Cleveland Clinic must have been complicated. How do you manage having your doctors so far afield?
    Glad you are on the road to recovery.
    We look forward to hearing more posts. Diane

  17. Hi Karen, I just wanted to drop by to say we’ve just posted our last blog post. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and I’ll still be visiting. But we’ve got a lot of activities lined up that will be occupying my time, so my visits will be much more sporadic in the future. Best wishes to you.

  18. Karen, I just visited your blog today to catch up on your posts, and was sorry to learn about about your health challenges. But I’m so relieved that you’ve received such good news about your colon cancer. Thank you for sharing your storyโ€”you may never know who it will inspire to make the visit to their doctor to check out a nagging issue and prevent a treatable problem from becoming something major. Best wishes to you for your ongoing good health! I’m pleased to see that you’ve been travelling again and enjoying what life has to offer. Carpe diem!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s