August 9, 2015, was a Sunday. We packed a bag or two to head to the hospital early on Monday morning. Keith completed all the pre-surgery protocols the week prior, so he was ready. Check-in would be bright and early.
Keith’s colon cancer (adenocarcinoma) was discovered at a “routine” colonoscopy. I use quotation marks because Keith’s dad died of colon cancer at age 62, so it was imperative that Keith have a colonoscopy every 5 years since colon cancer runs in families. Keith had two colonoscopies already, routinely, but time had gotten away from us this round. It had been 9 years since his last.
His cancer met the criteria for Stage 1 (growing on the inside colon wall), but oddly beyond Stage 2 (where it grows through the wall to the colon’s exterior), but not really Stage 3 (in lymph nodes and other part of one’s body). Keith’s was on the interior wall, it had not grown through the wall, but it was present on the exterior, and it was not in all lymph nodes but was in some lymph nodes in his groin near the colon. The surgeon planned to remove the cancerous section of colon (colectomy), and put the healthy ends of the colon back together (a resection), as well as remove any cancerous lymph nodes. We would be in the hospital maybe a week. I packed a bag for Keith and a bag for me.
I made a pic collage of Keith as our Facebook profile, and I made a picture of him and me our profile pic.
Neither of us knew it would be the last night we would sleep in our own bed for 32 days.