Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cancer Picked...

...the WRONG mother fucker!

We got some great news yesterday. The final reports came back from pathology on the removed tissue and lymph nodes.

According to my oncologist, the malignacy was less than an inch long and was restricted to the tissue in my right breast only. There was no evidence in my left side. Additionally, there was nothing in my lymph nodes and no signs of metastisis anywhere else.

In other words, it looks like I beat it.

The doctor was reticent to say one way or the other if I needed to do radiation or chemotherapy, but she does think that it may not be necessary because, as I said in previous posts, we've taken all of the potentially cancerous tissue out. I'll know more about my future plans probably next week when we meet with her to - joy of joys! - have my chest tubes removed.

It looks like the path through the dark woods is coming to an end.

It's hard to believe it's only been like three weeks since this whole thing started. I can say that I understimated the surgery. I've never had major surgery before, although I've had some minor stuff here and there.

For instance, I did have my appendix burst when I was in college at Bowling Green. That was pretty major, although I don't remember much of it. I mostly remember the indignity of waking up with a catheter, vomiting bright green gouts of bile, and riding all the way back home to Willowick in the back seat of my dad's car to convalesce for another week.

The appendix was done laproscopically, which means I don't have an appendectomy scar like most people. They did all of the surgery through my belly button. Which is funny because, sometime after that surgery, I tore a stitch and it resulted in my having an outtie belly button after having had an innie my whole life.

That torn stitch actually became a problem later in my life. Soon after I started seeing Michelle, I noticed that the outtie was getting bigger (and not because I was getting fatter). It also started to become tender and painful to touch. Turns out, the popped stitch from my appendectomy had resluted in what was called an incisional hernia. Unknown to me at the time when I bent to pick up a dropped bottle of shampoo in the shower at BGSU's Harshman Bromfield dorm, the popped stitch had opened a small hole in my visceral wall and, as time went on, it got bigger and bigger.

In other words - BLOOP! - I had a bulge of intestine sticking out through my belly button.

That surgery, was no big deal.

I also had a vasectomy last October. That was nothing compared to the appendix, and was only painful because - as I'm sure you understand - they cut a hole. In. My. Junk.

But this surgery has been a whole new level of suck.

I'm still in pain, I still have tubes in my chest, and I still can't lift my right arm laterally above my shoulder without causing intense pain.

I most definitely underestimated the recovery and pain.

But now it looks like it's finally coming to an end. I

I have to admit that, like before my biopsy, I was kind of hoping they'd come back and say that they were wrong and that it wasn't cancer at all. I'd have been mad because I'd had to go through all of this pain and suffering... but I wouldn't have to worry about cancer any more.

And I will have to worry about it, because cancer's the gift that keeps giving.

The rest of my life, stretched like some dark storm cloud before me, will be the spectre of cancer. Without warning, it could rear it's ugly pulsing, throbbing head and show up somewhere else in me. I'll have to endure lifelong testing and bloodwork... always dreading the call that - like the CyberDyne Systems Model 101 - it's back. Nobody knows why cancer hits some people, and why it happens... but it is more likely that - once you've had it - you may get it again. It's not a certainty... but it's a definite possibility.

To that end - I still fully intend to follow through on my plans to live life differently after this is all over. What other choice do I have?

So what else have I been doing to pass the time?

I've been watching a crapload of zombie movies (watch my other blog, Dr. Zombie's Midnight Theater of Terror, for a bunch of movie reviews in the coming days.). I've been writing and emailing friends. I've also been reading quite a bit. When all of this shit started, I began reading Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike and I think I've become a full on member of Lance's LiveStrong cult. I like his attitude and have drawn some strength from it.

I've also been reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith. I'm still on the fence about the book. I love that it rewrites history (both actual and literary) by having Jane Austen's heroines trying to find love and marriage amidst the zombie apocalypse... but the writing lacks some. Grahame-Smith is not as good a writer as Austen and does a bad job of imitating her style. It's still fun to read... especially considering how familiar I am with the source material (For those who don't know, my only published 'serious literary' work was an article analysing the point of view of Pride and Prejudice. (I should add that my daughter is named after the main female protaganist in this book as well. What can I say... I'm an English dork, through and through).

Fianlly, I've been listening almost non stop to Android Lust's The Dividing CD. Someting about Shikree (Android Lust's lead singer) appeals to me and her voice and music is soothing to me on some deep level.

That's all for now, friends. Thanks for reading, as well as for all of the well-wishing.


Chrissy said...


Phronk said...

Wow, huge congrats on beating it, and best wishes in continuing to pound that cancer fucker into submission.

Randal Graves said...

Stupid blogger, where'd my comment go? I knew you'd beat that fucker, and will do so even if it dares rear its zombie noodle in the future.