Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

And the Surgery Date has been Set…

Dave and I got the great news last week that my tumor has shrunk by about 1/3 and that the chemo is definitely working.  We were optimistic that this would be the case given that this same form of chemotherapy worked for me last time.  Even better than the fact that tumors are shrinking is the fact that because they are shrinking and moving, the surgeon feels much more confident performing surgery (some of you might remember that when I first relapsed in December of this past year, the surgeon was concerned that the tumor was in a "morbid" place and he wouldn't be able to perform surgery). My surgeon (Dr. Singer), said that although he could perform surgery immediately, he seemed to find no harm in my having a few more cycles of chemotherapy to see if we could shrink the tumors even further.  You have to love a surgeon who says "This surgery will be much easier for me than I had originally thought...I mean I will probably need to take out a few organs and detach and reconnect your rectum but it won't be too bad...".  I turned to him and said, "EASIER FOR WHOM?"  He laughed and said, "I am talking from a surgical perspective. You should be prepared for a long recovery...but you've been there before and you'll be fine. It will just take time.  Be prepared to be out of the office for 4-6 weeks". I was hoping to push the surgery out as far as possible so that I could take advantage of the warm weather (the best way to heal is to walk a lot and it is hard to walk outside when it is freezing in March).  So, we agreed that unless the chemo becomes too hard for me, my surgery date is set for Tuesday, April 28th.  Not only will the weather be nice in May to go for a lot of walk in Central Park but I will be super skinny in time for bathing suit season :) I've never had two months to prepare for surgery before.  My first 3 surgeries, I was given anywhere from 3 days to two weeks to prepare for them. It is both good and bad to have the privilege of time.
  • In some ways, it is great.  I can get everything organized at work before I take medical leave.  I can arrange my travel and any fun things that Dave and I were doing to happen before or after this time period.
  • In some ways, it is terrifying.  The surgery will be major. The good news is that I have had surgeries like this before so there isn't a large element of surprise. However, because I am familiar with the surgery, I am well aware of how debilitating (and painful) it can be.  I find my mind drifting to thinking about what it will be like to be stuck in the hospital for at least a week and at home for a month recuperating.  Although I realize it's not productive to focus on the future, it's hard not to.
I also find myself being a bit of a schizophrenic.  I constantly waver back and forth from the mindset that "I am going to get myself in great shape prior to the surgery" and the mindset of "it's OK to eat 8 cookies because I won't be able to eat for a month come May".  I think I will wind up doing a bit of both.  Working out a lot and savoring the ice-cream!" I will write a bit more soon.  I must share with you about the reflexologist at my nail salon who continues to diagnose the specific area of my cancer before anyone else can! '