Tuesday, June 15, 2010


bad news/good news. i have colon cancer/ most likely correctable by surgery. i share my health challenges here with you. remember high blood pressure and broken toe? my rectal abscess? look sharp young'uns, this could be your future. at least i have medicare, for now. and social security, for now. damn you obama and your cost cutting/deficit reduction commission. and fuck you pete peterson.

details: a 5 cm mass at the junction of the sigmoid colon and rectum and a questionable polyp in the transverse colon. the mass is operable and could fix everything. the other thing, the funny polyp, isn't necessarily bad in cancer terms but does require a much more involved surgery. my blood work is all great. the gastroenterologist (colonoscopy doc) says he would kill for my cholesterol levels. so physically i am good. i was splitting firewood today with a maul. this cancer thing seems harder on robin than it is in me and i understand. were our positions reversed i would be frantic.

in other news summer is here, at last. we have beaucoup carrots and beets coming up. cabbage forming. broccoli flowering. chard and kale leafing out. strawberries ripening. basil growing. i eat this stuff. did i start too late? there are a myriad of beautiful dragonflies around the pond.


update.......more info....... good!!! only one positive biopsy for cancer. we will know more thursday late afternoon. seems like the *simpler* surgery might do.

planted basil, zuchinni, and butternut squash starts.


  1. so very sorry to hear this, roger, but keeping a positive attitude with hope that it will be a quick surgery and a easy recovery. please keep us posted. you both are in our thoughts, and we will send positive energy into the universe for your full recovery.

    wow - that veggie garden is looking amazing! wishing it were right here outside our door! the rains here drowned our basil and cucumbers and gave a fungus to the pepper plants. here we are, now in mid june, having to start over. with our limited sunshine we may have no luck. we have a few tomato and yellow squash plants and some parsley - pretty pitiful.

  2. How I hate to see that "c" word. You know you have my best wishes for a good outcome. I hope the medical system down there is working well enough that you can get whatever surgery or treatment you require in short order so that you can get back to having an excellent summer. The garden is looking great already. Wow, how do you do it? You've barely just moved in! As to why any of us develops these illnesses. I've long ago given up trying to figure that out as none of it makes much sense to me. Positive thoughts and wishes coming your way.

  3. Well, fuck. I hope it's as simple as a scrape & snip.

    I had a flexible sigmoidoscope a year or so ago and everything was pink & pretty, but you've spurred me to go the distance and get the colonoscopy.

    Bon chance.

  4. I’ve been a reader of your blog for a long time….Those of us of a certain age, when we hear the “c” word, well, we totally freak. However, all cancers are not created equal.

    Fifteen years ago I was helping care for a very dear friend whose cancer had been caught far too late for anything but respite care. Then another dear friend called. Another big C diagnosis. His, however, was colon cancer. I have long since forgotten the sizes etc, but he went through surgery, chemo and radiation. His diagnosis was Stage IV. Six months later we buried the friend I was helping care for. The friend with colon cancer couldn’t come to the funeral as he was still going through chemo/radiation. There is no sugar coating surgery/chemo/radiation. It’s no fun. But….I’m very happy to report the colon cancer friend is still very much alive. I picked him up after his last colonoscopy last August. They took a couple of polyps, but he is considered “clean”.

    I, for one, expect to be reading your blog and your contribution to the blogosphere fifteen years from now.

  5. You are ahead of the curve here, both diagnosis and healthwise. As long as you get what the consensus recommends, you'll stay that way!

    Meantime, I'm thinking of you both more than usual and sending peaceful and healing vibes that way along with much love for you both!


  6. Cancer is absolutely scary. But my wife had colon cancer, and it has been 10 years since her treatment ended with no sign of recurrence. So remember: it can be beat.

  7. Attitude is half the battle, and you seem to have a good start with that, as well as your life-style habits. I wish you good luck with the surgery, a speedy recovery and a long life ahead of you.

  8. This is scary and I wish wish wish it weren't happening to you both. But you sound remarkably positive, and thank you to the commenters for the positive input. Be well, Roger and Robin.

  9. I'm very sorry to hear about your colon cancer diagnosis, but so glad to hear you're otherwise in excellent health. You'll be healing in no time, I'm sure.

    It's never too late to get around to eating beautiful plants! It's just lamentable that so many never get around to it at all. Your garden is enviable and soon you will be enjoying everything you've been growing.

  10. That is very upsetting news and I understand how Robin feels about it. Like others have said, these cancers are much more beatable today than they were. Attitude is important and I recommend finding an acupuncturist also to go along with it. When I had to have major surgery over 10 years ago, I found an acupuncturist with the intent of building up my energy for healing not avoiding the surgery. I think it really helped. At that time insurance didn't help with the cost but I figured it was worth it anyway. I did make a really fast recovery.

    So sending energy to you both as she doesn't want to let hers go down now when you need hers to be high and strong. Can't afford to have you both needing medical treatment. I agree with the frustration over the health care changes which didn't go as far as it should have to take the expense fear out of the picture.

  11. Well, that sucks. I'm hoping for a simple surgery and an easy recovery. Good luck. Give Robin a squeeze for me.

  12. Wow, that was a shock. The good thing is that you are in such wonderful condition and colon cancer is soooo treatable when caught early like you have.
    Keep the great attitude and do what you must to be cancer free.
    Hugs and positive thoughts to you both.

  13. Just image all the curse/swear words you can. They are rolling through my brain right now! Sorry the path report wasn't back yet. Been sending you good good vibes (and Robin too of course).

    The veggies look great - in your designer raised bed garden. If I know you, you're just going to keep on keeping on, with a lot of sick humor in the mix!!

    Love to you and Robin.

  14. Roger, you're in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you and Robin.

    And, yes, that garden is a beauty to behold!

  15. As you know, I have advocated screening colonoscopy and gotten some pushback from the medical minimalists. But now that Roger has had the good fortune of having the problem caught early, and apparently early enough (and we're all nearly as annoyed as you are about not having a more definitive word yet), let's hope other people take this to heart and just do it.

    BTW I only have a semicolon myself, and I get along just fine.

    I'm a little behind you with the veggies, but I'll catch up.

  16. This is always a scary thing, roger, but good on you for being diligent and having it discovered early.

    I'll be thinking of you and Robin in the days ahead. IANAD! but it sounds like this can be nipped in the bud, so to speak. Best to you both, dear ones.

  17. {{{R&R}}}
    This is a post I never thought I'd read. Oh, how my heart goes out to both of you! So many people have already said what I might say, I'll just add the sincere offer to help in any way I can, though we're divided by a continent. Books? Funny Billy Connolly video about colonoscopies?

    Love to you both. My heart and thoughts are with you.

  18. R and I are sending out positive energy to you both. And a good reminder to make that appointment for R's colonoscopy today!

    your garden looks great! I only wish mine looked half as good.

  19. great veggies! i hate the other news, of course, but look forward to putting this behind you, so to speak.

    ha! semi-colon! you should definitely keep in touch with bart for the dose of guffaw.

  20. You are a strong man Roger and your strength will see you through this.

  21. Bleah. Well, we send energy and good thoughts to you guys. Hoping for the best.
    Meanwhile, your veggies are GROWING!!! It was 45 up here last night, and drizzly; you could see your breath this morning. Only the bindweed and some other mutant weeds seem to be thriving!

  22. Oh Roger, we keep our thoughts with you. I know the fear---similar situation, but I have to wait until I get Medicare, having been canceled for precondition.

  23. Positive energy fields zapping your way from NC. To you, and to Robin. You will both be much on my mind.

  24. Hi..have to wade in here..as today is my birthday, and I celebrate it because not only am I getting older, I am also a breast cancer survivor. Nothing focusses your attention like those 3 little words: You have cancer.
    BUT.. early detection, aggressive treatment ( for me lumpectomy, 6 weeks radiation, 5 years of medication), and cancer has now morphed into a chronic disease for the most part. The most critical thing (besides good diet and exercise) is an annual check up.
    You did that. It will pay dividends, and dream big.
    Kindest thoughts to you both. Susan
    and PS...don't do the internet search for the cure!!! Trust medical science and common sense.

  25. Roger, I can't think of anything else to add to all the good wishes here. The very best of luck with getting it cleared up quickly and effectively.

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  27. Your spirit remains cancer-free and that is what counts. I'm going to focus on "likely correctable by simple surgery" and send love to you and robin.

    That lovely vegetable garden makes me want to get out my olive oil and sesame oil and iron skillet and start chopping vegetables.

    Kind wishes always,

  28. echoing others---so sorry to hear the news but it can be very treatable in the early stages.
    I'm sending positive energy and good vibes your way. And to Robin too.

  29. Let's hear it for diagnostic techniques that find these things before it's too late. Waiting to hear the results of a polypectomy I underwent last week myself.

  30. tuned in after the update so hooray for good news!

    i have to say that the first thing that went through my mind at the beginning of the post was NO WAY! These two eat way down on the energy pyramid and it's all the RIGHT stuff for fighting off colon cancer.

    of course, eating that way may be what kept the problem small and treatable I guess.

    whatever, i am very happy to hear the update. Sending a hug to your worried Robin ... okay, one for you too.

  31. I am deeply sorry that I missed this, that I missed so much this summer, engrossed as i have been in my own narrowness.

    but i shall send you reiki healing now--knowing you are well on your way to renewed health.

    love and namaste