November 26th, 2012
| Survivor: Colon and Rectal Cancer
Anesthesia - Chances are you're going to la-la-land for this one. A doctor you've never met before will come up to you in the prep room and introduce themselves as the person who stands between you and a scene from a bad horror movie in which the patient wakes up during surgery. Do not insult this person. Compliment them on their choice of scrubs.
Sharp Objects - Scalpels are of course commonly used, but thanks to advances in minimally invasive techniques, sometimes the tools of choice make only tiny little holes. I had 13 inches of colon removed through a 1.5 inch hole in my belly button, which to me is like putting a ship in a bottle, only in reverse.
Fear - You are probably going to have a nagging fear of not waking up from surgery. While this is only natural, it probably makes more sense to fear waking up. Don't get me wrong: not waking up is bad. But waking up may involve pain, nausea, or the realization that they did something horrible to the wrong part of your body.
That last one leads me to a point. If your surgeon hasn't marked where he or she is planning to cut before the procedure, do it yourself, especially if the area in question is something that appears in your body symmetrically, like a limb, testicle, or breast. A big circle or a label saying THIS ONE with an arrow can certainly save everyone a lot of trouble.
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