Readers who follow me have graciously been asking how I am doing. (For previous story click here.) The surgery went well and I was released after one night in the hospital. There were a few rough patches after returning home, but each day was better than the day before. I had the huge bonus of having my son Will in town for a few days which boosted my mood immeasurably.
By Day 8 or 9, I felt good enough to set up a card table to begin a puzzle I had bought myself as an early Christmas present. The minute I saw it in a catalog, I KNEW I HAD TO OWN IT. It’s a 1000 piece puzzle containing 57 book covers from the Nancy Drew mystery series. I adored these books as a young girl and easily recognized most of the titles and covers. It’s been so entertaining (and affirmative) to piece together well-known images from my childhood.
Then, after two weeks, we met with the nurse practitioner in the oncologist’s office to hear the pathology results. The news was mixed. The excellent news was that all ten lymph nodes that were removed came back clean. The bad news was that the cancer had moved through the entire uterine wall to the outside of the wall. This classifies it as a stage 3 cancer even though the uterus was removed.
I put on a brave face listening to the news that I will now need chemotherapy and radiation over the next six months. I listened on how it will be one long five-hour day receiving chemo once every three weeks; that it repeats 6 times. I listened about having radiation every day for a month in the middle of that chemo cycle. I listened when she told me that I would lose my hair. I listened on how they will soon insert a port close to my collarbone to prepare for the infusions. And in there somewhere, I was listening to my own voice repeating “this is not what I expected, this is not what I expected.”
I guess I have finally processed what I heard that day. There was a lot. And I’ve decided I’m ready…but ONLY because the sooner I start the sooner it will end. The sooner I can claim my life back. I’m trying to claim it back now. I’m editing a few posts I wrote about Ginny a few months back and how some changes are coming. There’s going to be a lot coming up soon.
Also, I recognize that I am not the first, nor am I the last to face this disease. So, I’ll put my balding head down and barrel through trying to count my blessings that it’s only six months.
As I see it, the new year is the biggest time period on the calendar to feel optimism; to feel hope. If it has to be, I’m glad this part of my journey is starting now. But first, I happily plan to spend some time today piecing together the Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion. Even small pieces can bring a big piece of joy.
A heartfelt Happy New Year to all of you.