I should be happy this morning. The sun is out, most of my back and stomach pains are slowly going down, but still I sit with tears running down my face. Why? Because every doctor visit I realize how scary my life has become. There is never just “good news” when I visit the doctor. It always seems to be good news wrapped up in some sort of bad news.
“We were able to remove all of your colon cancer with large margins – however even on the edges of those margins we found microscopic cancer cells.”
I feel uplifted for a second just to be pushed back down the next. I knew this journey would not be easy, but in the beginning it kind of was. I would joke that other than my chemo days, I felt completely fine. That lifestyle has changed. I am in constant pain because my wound has reopened right above my belly button. I am unable to lift pretty much anything so when my cat has a crazy moment, I am unable to even lift him off the counter.
All I keep thinking is – I have to do this all over again. I will just be getting back to my old self when I will be readmitted to the hospital for surgery. It is a depressing feeling to say the least. I should be thankful that not only were they able to complete the first operation, but the second one is already being discussed. This is easier said than done. Every hour my mood changes from, “Yay surgery!” to “Yay surgery?”.
The one question I forgot to ask my doctor last week, “How do I go from inoperable in April to operable in June?”. I mean, it is exciting to say the least, but still that question looms in my mind. I just do not understand what is so different? They did say that my chemo was working and the tumours were shrinking, but I cannot imagine it was by a large significant amount. I have only had 4 treatments. I am going to ask him that question on the 16th, however I have a feeling I know his answer because the surgery I am having is very risky. On that note, let’s break it down:
The doctor will first go in and remove 9 tumours on the 20% of my liver he would like to keep (You only need 20% of your liver in order for it to function. Also, a healthy liver will regenerate itself.). He will then block the portal vein that is suppling blood to the other 80%. This will cause that side of my liver to shrink. During the same surgery he will also remove the 4 tumours from my colon. He has also half promised he can do this without leaving me with a colostomy bag *fingers crossed*. It would not be the worst thing, but if I can avoid it that would be nice.
The doctor will go in an remove the 80% of my liver that he has shrunk. Although this procedure seems smaller, it is actually the most complicated and the most risky.
Excitement and nervousness are the two emotions that I drift back and forth with. By the time I have my first surgery on the 21st of July, it will be almost 6 weeks since my last chemotherapy treatment. The paranoid part of me is worried that my tumours will have grown or multiplied during this time. There is no set plan yet for what happens in between the two surgeries. I will either jump from one to the next, or have a blast of chemo in between. Stay tuned for updates.