Riding My Old Route

After my trip to Germany in April 2012, I went to the doctor and he told me I have fatty liver. This apparently is a pretty common ailment in the populace. Then came May 2012 and I drank a pint too much, which gave me a feeling of my liver tearing up inside of me that night as I tried falling asleep. It did not hurt, but it was the most disturbing feeling I had ever had. Following that night came the pain under the bottom right rib as if my liver was being pushed up against it. The pain lasted for about 6-8 days, then died down for about 2-3 days. This repeated for a few years. Then about a year and a half ago, when my parents went to Hong Kong for one month. Initially, the pain lasted about 5-6 days, then died down for 3-4 days until the last week and a bit. At that point, the pain didn’t come back for about one week. I told myself that I really wish it was like this for the rest of my life, where the pain is no longer around.

Alas, my parents came back and I ate ‘normal’ again. The pain came back in its usual cycle. So I knew it was a matter of dietary habits. I tried my best to limit what and how much, but ultimately, no matter the instructions I gave my mom, she just doesn’t understand. In her mind, “a little” is considered fine, even though I explicitly told her that I want “none”. I am speaking of fat, oil and salt. So that went on until about five weeks ago.

Five weeks ago, my liver and right abdomen felt very bloated and it ached for three weeks straight. On the Sunday night of the end of that three weeks, I went to emergency at Richmond Hospital. Fortunately, it took a total of 3 hours from entering to leaving. The doctor there told me my liver enzymes went up. My ALT was 102 and my AST was 45. The normal range for ALT is 10-80 and 10-38 for AST. I went for an ultrasound on Tuesday. The Friday following, I went to see my doctor and he told me that everything checked out. Urine sample came out normal, blood tests were normal except for the ALT and AST. So he got me to go for another blood test, stool test and urine test. Which will happen this Thursday on May 4th.

I know my pain and I know the feeling inside of my right abdomen. My liver no longer feels pain and swelling since two weeks ago. After I left emergency, the pain shifted for the first time since May 2012. My liver now just feels ‘tired’. The pain can sometimes be a dull but at times, sharp on the right abdomen. I press and feel where my colon is and I can feel bumps or lumps. If I massage them, gas seem to pass through and something inside becomes loose.

Since I had my gall bladder removed a year and a half ago, I get diarrhea quite often, but only up until six weeks ago. These days, I get constipated for 1-2 days, then diarrhea right after. Which I noticed something in the last little while. Ribbon-stools. While it’s not always the case, a good sign that causes ribbon-stools is cancer in the colon.

When the pain was chronic for such a long time and when the government of Canada finally told Amber and I that Amber’s immigration has been approved, I have spoke up into the heavens that I hope that whatever illness I have is not terminal. While there has been no official diagnoses yet, I feel that there is a good chance I have colon cancer.

I wish I don’t. I hope I don’t.

In the evening yesterday, it was 19c outside, so I did something I haven’t done for a long time. I rode my bike on my old route down to #7 and Cambie where the cranberry farms are. I took a few pictures and made a video…

Unfortunately, by the time the specialist decides to allow me to get a colonoscopy, it might already be too late, but no matter how I feel emotionally, mentally and physically, I still have to make the best of what I have. I just hope that I don’t have a terminal illness. In my mind, it’s important I keep living for two particular reasons. Firstly, Amber deserves to have a life where she can be happy in. I want to grow old with her and experience life together. We went through so much and especially her, that I feel as though the world owes her in some way and I want to champion that cause. Secondly, my parents shouldn’t have to bury their child before their time. I feel if I was a parent to see my own child fade away from this life, how heart breaking it would be, especially my mom whom we have become very close since I was a young twenty-something adult.

It’s just that, while I always felt death was something that could happen at any time, especially considering my long term chronic constipation and then the removal of my gall bladder, that if I were to die of something, it would be colon cancer. The van that hit me and blinded my right eye on the first day of school in grade 10 wasn’t it, but sometimes, I feel as though I am on borrowed time.

The only thing I regret was that I didn’t listen to my parents and stop drinking. That’s what started all of this. It was hard to quit because I had so much internal turmoil. Then I stopped, but stress conquered me. While I should be extremely excited that Amber will be here next Wednesday, I also extremely worried and so very sad that I might not live to 40. Heck, having such a pain for such a long time, what if I don’t even get to live to the end of 2016?

I do not fear death. I am only sadden that I cannot go through life with my wife and I cannot show my parents that they succeeded in being good parents. I also regret never conquering my own mental issues, to reach back out and reconnect with some of my friends.

I don’t want to go home yet. It’s not my time. Not now. Amber needs me.

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