Four years ago today I had a cancer cut out of me. Two cancers, really, since I had a bad lymph node as well.
It's strange, looking back on those times. I was terrified - I'd never had a "proper" operation before. I didn't count my wisdom teeth as a proper operation for whatever reason, even though it meant having a general anaesthetic and staying in hospital overnight (I was the last operation of the day and they were running an hour or two late by the time they got to me).
|Surf's up! Again!|
I remember the nurse asking me to open my eyes when I was in the ward and me refusing to (and they said I was not responsive - I told her I wasn't opening my eyes as the dizziness/nystagmus weirdness was so bad I shut them again. Anyone who has dealt with an old fashioned tv when the horizontal or vertical hold has gone will understand what I'm seeing if I say that my vertical hold had gone. It was very offputting!). I don't remember much in the way of pain - stiffness and uncomfortableness yes, but not pain in particular. I discovered the joys of regular obs - the nurse waking me up just when I'd gotten to sleep, though sleep was pretty scarce due to the woman in the next bed constantly asking for more pain medication (and when they took her out for a test, the nurses gossiping that she was addicted to pain meds). I've never been so glad to see the back of someone. Two nights in hospital was enough for me - I missed dinner the first night I think and the second night the only thing the kitchen could give me was a little rectangle of fish about the size of three fish fingers. No vegetables or anything. Jeez I was hungry - I needed food to recover from surgery and all they gave me was a little chunk of protein.
And then there was radiotherapy and starting work and the long haul of recovery, all with the looming spectres of recurrence and mets hanging over me. That's the danged thing about the sort of cancer I had (I hope it is had!) - you can never be quite sure that it is gone. At the end you are sent out into the world with the promise of regular check ups (which are a trauma in themselves). They don't even say it is in remission. I've heard Americans say no evidence of disease, which my online BC buddies call dancing with NED.
|yay, achieved another sunset!|
The good news is that I am still here four years later. I didn't expect to survive a year - my Mum and my aunt hadn't survived a year from their diagnoses. The not so good news is that it seems I will never be back to 100%. There are things that I just can't do now and I don't know if it is ageing or if it is the aftermath of chemo and the operation (the lymphedema is certainly due to the operation!) or a combination of them.
Still I'm here, and that is a good start for life in general! I can't knit and quilt and type nonsense out at you chaps in the webisphere if I'm pushing up daisies.
So here's to life!