And again, it’s over. But again, it’s just begun.
To summarize the whole situation, I still have cancer. I expected this, so that isn’t an emotional blow, yet in the process of attempting to remove the cancer this time around we had a very successful surgery, “90% successful”, I was told. I don’t know if I was supposed to take that literally, as if we got 90% of the cancer out, or more abruptly, as to just say it went as well as it could have gone without getting everything.
And now we “wait and see”.
I had the heated introperitoeal chemotherapy during the surgery and then five days of infusions through the ports and tubes running around my abdomen over the following days, but now, no more. At least, that was the plan. Now we run through standard checkups and CT scans to keep a close eye on the cancer, to see if it begins to grow out of control again, at which point we would begin the chemo regime again, or if everything remains the same as it did this past year and few months, with almost complete stability. No growth. No regression.
That’s the short of it and despite being in the throes of post-surgery suffering, I’m feeling pretty good about this whole situation. I feel reinvigorated, renewed, rededicated, aided in part by the relatively free running I squeezed in the last weeks leading up to surgery. Pushing through every day was worth it and I’m ready to keep moving further and further away from chemo and closer and closer to my other physical limitations. I’m also ready to do this with a commitment to “doing it right”, not rushing into it, not neglecting other components of total health and whatever it takes to make another go at it….whatever that IS right now. I’m holding off on stated goals until I’m completely away from surgery, adjusted to a new living schedule and making sure all the pieces fit.
In the interim, and more important, immediate sense, i’m still at the hospital, recovering at a pace that has truly surprised me…shocked even. I may not have been ravaged by cancer as much going into surgery this time around, but I was consumed by chemo and felt that I was held back from being at my best potential going forward, so I worried about the recovery. I felt weaker. I also worried about the extra chemo treatments and how they would add to the suffering. But I was out of the ICU 6 days later, with minimal complications, feeling stronger every day, already doing hallway laps and feeling as I’m going to get out of here quicker than I imagined. Maybe it’s the muscle memory. Maybe it’s hopeful naivety. Maybe its the coffee talking, but right now, I’m going with it.
I don’t mean to paint such a pretty picture though. It’s still been incredibly rough. The nights of sleepless boredom, fading in and out of the darkest corners of my subconscious through pain medications, physical frustrations, downright pains. But, maybe i’m just more emotionally equipped to handle the situation, or this does parallel the muscle memory found in running recovery….or, again, maybe it’s just the coffee talking. It isn’t easy either way. I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone.
And I’ll just leave it at that right now, because there will still be a lot of waiting and seeing. Waiting to see if recovery stays on this quickened trajectory or waiting to see if the stays stays or grows. That’s where, in part I’ll be placing my focus. Then, on the other hand, I will not be waiting to see what happens with running. I’m going to dedicate myself to running closer to my honest abilities at I sit with patience through everything else.
Thanks, as always, for helping me get here.