It has been a week of grey dawns each day. The black of night turning to the grey of day without any burst of loveliness to mark the change. A fitting setting for this waiting time. Yet another period of waiting has ended with a confusing and unsettling result. Today I got the results from my most recent surgery and met with Stan to decide what to do about them.
The good news: The lymph nodes (3) were clear! No cancer there. No chemo necessary. That is excellent and, combined with the PET scan, means that this new cancer isn’t any more life threatening than the last cancer. That’s a big exhale. I am trying to focus on how excellent this news is and celebrate it.
The bad news: The margins were still not clear, meaning that there were still cancerous cells at the edges of the tissue that Stan removed. This means another surgery, more invasive and this time at least a little disfiguring, to try and get clear margins again. That will be my third surgery for this round of cancer. And then there will be more waiting to hear whether the margins are clear. And if they aren’t clear, there will be one final, much more radical surgery. All followed by radiotherapy.
So in terms of life or death, the news has been excellent each time. In terms of my near-term health and happiness, it continues to be fairly miserable. Stan calls this an “annoyance” cancer, but I don’t just feel annoyed. I am trying to keep my attention on the positive news—and it is great! And I keep slipping into misery about at least one more surgery, and that one not at all guaranteed to be my last. I am really hating this.
I’ll decide whether to have surgery on the 18th or the 25th and then there will be more hospital beds, more IVs, more waiting waiting waiting. Thanks for waiting with me, friends.