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An Update on My Colonoscopy Post

April 15, 2012

It occurred to me today that my blog has been dark for nearly a month.

That last post I wrote about undergoing a colonoscopy around the time of my birthday may have been a little too tongue-in-cheek. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Dr. Chobanian, my gastroenterologist, was shocked. He said he was fully prepared to tell me I had colitis or Celiac Disease. Cancer didn’t event enter his thought process. He also noted the irony that I work for the American Cancer Society and I was diagnosed with rectal cancer during colorectal cancer awareness month.

Still, even tough I have stage three rectal cancer, my surgeon is confident we can “get it out, hook you back together and cure you.” Following the shock of diagnosis, his words, as well as the news that a PET scan shows the cancer has not spread, was music to our ears.

Weird this is I don’t feel sick. I ran the Covenant Health Knoxville Half Marathon five days after my diagnosis, and the Run for the Schools 5K the week after that. I’m still going to the gym regularly, or walking outdoors in an effort to take at least 10,000 steps every day. In some ways, it’s been life as normal. Yet it hasn’t been normal at all.

The lovely Sarah and I spent a nearly sleepless first week in a strange place where we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Since then I’ve undergone an endscopic ultrasound, a PET scan and a flexible sigmoidoscopy. My colon has never been so clean! We’ve met with our surgeon, radiation oncologist, and medical oncologist. Now, we have a sound plan and I’m ready to get treatment underway.

My prognosis really is good. I’m also blessed to be relatively young (43 is a bit young to be diagnosed with rectal cancer and speaks to a genetic anomaly, which means my immediate family should and will get tested for cancer) and in good health. The 100-plus pounds I’ve lost, the focus on healthy eating and exercise — much of which I’ve chronicled in this blog — have set me up for victory.

We look at it as God’s plan. The marathons and half marathons I’ve run over the last few years have been preparation for the treatment marathon ahead. The next 9 to 12 months are going to be a challenge. I’m going to have surgery where the sun doesn’t shine. And my body is going to be filled to overflowing with toxins and radiation to fight my enemy, cancer.

However, we know this is a race I’m going to win!

I will keep this blog updated as best I can. If you’re interested in staying updated on my treatment, visit my page on Caring Bridge at www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelholtz.

Peace!

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One Comment
  1. John Stafford permalink

    Praying for you everyday. I have a feeling God is going to use you and this situation in huge way. Keep the faith brother! He may use your connections at the American Cancer Society to affect people for his glory and at very least he may use you to encourage people to get screenings that they might feel comfortable getting because of your testimony and story. No one ever wants to get screenings for that area but they should. Maybe your story will save someone’s life. God Bless!

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