Pause to Reflect


The post-op exam was short and sweet.  All’s well with my wound. 

From the surgeon

I admit I’d been nervous but it’s healing well and I feel like an idiot having hobbled around the past few days with an incision 2cm long!  In my defence, all the stitching is internal so the pulling feeling when I move around isn’t imaginary.  Perhaps those angels are helping me heal because my immune system is quite battered and it’s amazing I didn’t pick up even a sniffle in the hospital.  He explained the histology report to me.  The mass that’d been attached to the unhealthy lymph node was cancerous; the same type as before so I have cancer…uh, again / still / anew.  He’s handed me back over to the oncologist.

From the oncologist

She’s changed her mind.  I’m pleased that she does this.  Unsettling as it may seem, it tells me she thinks things through.  She’s no longer applying for approval on drugs that aren’t locally available.  She’s going to an alternative first – just as effective, I’m told – and on the market in SA.  A new 6 month-long protocol.

I realise part of the reason for avoiding wasting time.  The second mass mentioned in the recent CT scan is attached to more lymph nodes deeper in the abdomen / pelvis.  They cannot operate on me in this area again and I assume it could be cancerous too.  (They don’t say so because they’re scientists and cannot prove anything about it if they haven’t tested it.)  It’s down to hoping these new drugs will work on this mass.  The masses certainly explain the latest hike in the tumour marker.

From me

  • What the hell have the drugs been doing all this time if not fighting these masses too?!
  • With every new line of treatment (this will be the 3rd) becoming less effective than the last, how likely is it that it’ll work?
  • I’m exhausted.   Anaesthetic is still fighting my eyelids by the afternoon and my willpower is at a low point.  Can I afford to rest even as I need it?
  • With the help of kind friends, I’m employing alternative healing therapies already.  I haven’t put down the sword.

Some big questions to leave to chance.

When I was battling with septicaemia in hospital last year, I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror (when I had the strength to stand and look into it).  I was weak, I’d lost a lot of weight, my face was hollow and grey, there was no spirit in my eyes and I thought I was at death’s door.  I made peace with it then and so these new questions are not difficult to face – for now.

Understandably, they’ll be far more difficult to hear by the healthy loving people around me.  I’m sorry for any pain this causes.  It’s my reality.  Of course, we all have the choice of what we want to be a part of.  As in the Praying Mantis story, I believe we’re interdependent, and there’ll be something to learn and grow from this.  So perhaps my angels are much closer at this point keeping my peace or I might’ve lost my mind.


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