It’s a funny thing to be finally given a ticket to better health. It’s almost scary. I feel like I have become much better at living deeply and am terrified that life will return to its normal busy, frenetic pace. I always thought I would be trying to plan the next step while walking in the shadow of cancer, but after yesterday’s appointment, I think I feel the sun on my face once more.
I can now think about going on our annual trip to Myrtle Beach.
I can attend my son’s spring concert.
I will be able to go shopping in public places with “people” around.
How strange that there may not be as many “wait and sees”. How wonderful. How truly scary to be coming back into the world again.
Driving down to Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto yesterday, I was really of the belief that I was going to have to accept a life with cancer – and staving off its growth with regular chemo maintenance. Instead, I was given a surgery date. “I have a spot open on February 4th, Stacey, if you are interested?” asked Dr. Bernardini. I think my mouth may have gaped open as the follow-up comment from the doctor was, “Are you okay with that?”.
I had to explain I was more in shock than anything else, having prepared myself for the worst and not expecting to hear the best. “Of course I will take that date!” I affirmed. And that was that. The procedure was explained to me in detail – complete with stats for clotting, pneumonia, and transfusions.
“But you are healthy – other than cancer. You aren’t on any medications. You are young. You are fit. You are a good candidate. ”
“What about the liver?” Kevin inquired. “How difficult is that going to be?”
“It’s a cake walk. The chemo did a good job in shrinking the tumors and I should be able to remove them all.”
Oh, my God! I thought I could kiss that man right there and then! A cake-walk?! I was thinking liver transplant, lobectomy (or whatever that is called), or major organ slicing and dicing. Nope. “Now, there could be more than what appeared on the CT – you never know for sure until we open you up – but it is looking to be quite easy. The liver is our area of expertise. There are risks, of course, but you are pretty straight forward.”
After one more internal exam (yuck!), I was sat to sign my name to agree to surgery. “You may as well get all the pre-surgery preps done now so you don’t have to come back until the 4th, Stacey”, explained the nurse. “You can do your bloodwork, your chest X-ray, and your ECG before you go home”.
It was nearly 6:00 when Kevin and I returned to the car to drive home. I think we were both a little stunned. It was a pretty quiet car ride home – there was an air of content. It was not the path neither of us had anticipated. We were exhausted mentally and exuberant all at once.
“Look, Stacey”, exclaimed Kevin. “It is nearly 6:00 and it is still not quite dark.”
It was like a new day had dawned – in the eve of our new lives.