[HEALTH UPDATE] Substantial’s Road To Recovery
Peace World. Once again, let me start by saying what I said before on Facebook and Twitter this past Friday, May 13, 2011 “Thanks for all of the kind words, energy, thoughts and prayers you sent to my family and I.”
On Tuesday, May 10, 2011, I was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Towson, MD for a surgical procedure: laparoscopic right hemicolectomy, performed by Dr. Howard Berg.
In 2008, I was getting ready for work and used the bathroom before heading out the door. As a habit, taught to me by my Uncle Azeezudin as a preteen, I always examine my stool before I flush. The color, odor, consistency, etc. are great indicators of your internal health. Anyway, that morning, for the 1st time ever, I saw bright red blood in my stool. I was scared. I spent the entire day wrestling with my thoughts, debating or whether or not to tell my wife and should I go see my doctor. Obviously, I did. And as Dr. Berg said to me when we first met in March of this year, “I can honestly say, without knowing you, this is the smartest thing you’ve ever done!”
But before Dr. Berg, I spoke with my family doctor, Dr. Eviet Gobrial, about my situation who recommended that I see Dr. Justin Rosemore. He told me that based on what I described to him, it may be an internal hemorrhoid or polyp. Weeks later, I had my first colonoscopy which confirmed Dr. Rosemore’s beliefs. He removed it and noticed another growth and decided to perform a biopsy on the sample he took from it. We spoke soon after I came back from touring with CunninLynguists in 2009 and he told me that the results came back as “precancerous”. Cancer is a word no one likes to hear. I feel bad for people when they tell me that’s their zodiac sign. j/k So, Dr. Rosemore, shortly thereafter, performed a second colonoscopy, removing the growth in a process where it is, for lack of a better word, “burned” away.
In March 2011, nearly 2 years after my last colonoscopy, I was scheduled for a follow up (my third colonoscopy) with Dr. Rosemore. When I woke up, soon after the procedure, Dr. Rosemore told me that the growth was back. Days later the results from the biopsy showed that it still wasn’t cancer but he suggested that I meet with Dr. Berg to discuss the possibility of having the area surgically removed. Soon after meeting with Dr. Berg, I then went to see Dr. Nisha Isaacs, a genetic counselor, for genetic testing and to gather my family’s medical history. The results of the test came back as negative for the gene(s) which cause stomach and colon cancer but I was advised to move forward with the procedure to prevent other issues the growth could cause.
The purpose of the procedure I had on May 10th was to remove the section of my large and small intestines, where the growth was located. As I mentioned before, “I don’t have cancer but I have decided to do the …surgery as a preventive measure.” Thankfully, the procedure was a success and I have begun the healing process.
ROAD TO RECOVERY
I spent 4 days and 3 nights at St. Joseph’s, a beautiful hospital with a wonderful staff (Shout out to Nora, Lisa & I believe the brother’s name was Lance). For the days immediately following the surgery, it was pretty rough. I was on a liquid diet, my lung capacity had changed significantly, so I had to (and still) do breathing exercises around the clock to get it back to normal or better. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was in so much pain. I’m extremely grateful that the worst of the pain seems to be over and my diet is almost back to normal (I still can’t eat raw fruit & vegetables). But I will be ecstatic once I’m off the medication.
For the next 3 to 4 weeks, I can’t do the following:* drive a car * eat raw fruit or vegetables * return to my job(s) * lift anything over 5lbs. * FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF!
I can however utilize my new found down time. So I’m taking the time to meet with my doctors and put together useful information for any of you that need or want it. So, feel free to email me any questions you have about the procedure, symptoms, etc. You should always make your health a top priority and if your family history is anything like mine, you need to especially be aware of changes in your body. Roughly 12 or so family members: both parents, a grandparent, a sibling, a few cousins, and about half of my aunts and uncles died from or are cancer survivors. I am dedicating my life to breaking that trend. By changing your diet and lifestyle, you’ll begin to feel the difference quicker than you think. My doctor told me that being in shape and having a healthy diet made my procedure go smoothly and is helping to speed up my recovery.
Being an independent contractor/youth worker/artist/producer has its advantages and its disadvantages. The type of work I do here in Baltimore, MD is not the type of job where I get a disability check. Fortunately, I have medical insurance (through my wife), or else we would be in even worse financial trouble but unfortunately my family and I still have the challenge of making up for the income I’ll lose over the next month or so. So for those of you who have said to me and my family “If there’s anything we need help with, don’t hesitate to ask.”, here’s how you can help. For those of you who use paypal and wish to make a monetary donation, you can send funds to my Paypal account using this email account: Stan.Robinson@Gmail.com or contact me, using the same email address, to find out other ways you donate money.
A GIFT FROM ME TO YOU
I remember shortly after J Dilla passed, reading about him making nearly all of the beats from Donuts in the hospital. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting his mother and talking about how inspirational that story was to me. I kept that story in mind as I prepared for my stay at the hospital. I promised myself to make the most of my new found down time.
As a lot of you know, I’m preparing to release my 3rd solo album (currently being mixed by Oddisee) and a Bop Alloy remix project with my partner Marcus D. On top of these releases, I’ve decided to release another secret promotional project because I absolutely hate the idea of asking for handouts without giving you all something it return. So while I’m home for the next few weeks I’ll be working on this project and releasing it for FREE on June 21, 2011 via my bandcamp site (http://Substantial.Bandcamp.com). Consider it my thank you to those of you who have been praying for my family and I, sending me get well messages, positive energy and also for those of you who may donate money to help us.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
Now, more than ever, I consider myself blessed. I was very lucky to find out about my health issue. People often disregard things like this when it’s clear that your body is trying to tell you something. At first, I was going to keep this private but after a conversation with a few close friends and my family, I decided to share my story. The more people I’ve discussed it with, the more people I’ve seen begin to change their diet or decide to talk to a doctor about problems they’ve had but ignored. I just want to see us all live long, happy, productive lives. We owe it to the people who care about us and most importantly, we owe it to ourselves.
Thank you, God bless, and…
Stay in Peace