Here’s a fun math problem: If a surgeon cuts out a circle of liver 3 inches in diameter, what is the area of the piece of liver? What is the circumference?
Here’s an even more fun math problem: If the chunk of liver the surgeon removes has clean margins, does this make the patient No Evidence of Disease? And if the patient is now No Evidence of Disease, how long until the patient experiences a recurrence?
Impossible math. But that’s where I am. Last we spoke, I was waiting on my liver surgery. Now I’m three weeks post-op, back at work (against medical advice), and waiting to start chemo again. The liver resection went as well as could be expected, although the recovery has been more difficult than I imagined.
I’m back at the waiting game (and we all know how much I love waiting!). I’m waiting for chemo to restart, waiting for pathology reports, waiting for post-op scans. I’m waiting to feel just a bit better so that I can get back to yoga, back to the gym, back to my new (and new again) normal.
I have been delaying writing this post. I know that folks have been wondering, but I feel a little stuck. I have nothing profound to say. I’m struggling to make every day as normal as possible, to minimize my pain, to make it through the work day. The past few days, I’ve been able to do a little more around the house–put the kids to bed, put the dishes in the sink, put the laundry in the basket. I’m eating normally again and walking almost completely upright. I’m simply living my life, to the best of my ability.
But then again, perhaps that is profound. Perhaps I have nothing to say because I have finally made some peace with this diagnosis. Perhaps I have begun to think not of my death but of my life. Last Mother’s Day, all I could I think about was my death and leaving my children motherless at a young age. This Mother’s Day, I woke up early with my kids and helped them make cards, I made some tuna salad, and I brunched with the family until I could not brunch any more. I barely thought about cancer or surgery or chemo or prognoses.
So I have nothing to say. And that’s good.
Silver Lining Roll Call:
- My belly now looks like I’ve been in a wicked knife fight, which is kickass.
- I only need one more surgery with Dr. K before receiving a free tote bag.
- My chemo pixie cut has moved me to experiment more with eye make-up. I have discovered the joy of an angled brush.
- Since I have refused all narcotics, I have given myself license to self-medicate with Redvines. But don’t worry, I read on the #interwebs that Redvines cure cancer. Or was that tumeric?
- Perhaps this is obvious, but it’s still a silver lining: This particular tumor chose a regenerating organ to grow on. Since I’m pretty much out of non-essential organs, I’m pretty grateful for this.