Pieces of You

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I am realizing it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, which is ironic because I’ve had plenty of time on my hands for the last month. I’ve thought about sitting down here at my desk and writing about a bunch of different things but I never did. It’s a lot easier to get wrapped up in meaningless distractions than it is to sit down and express your loaded feelings.

A lot has gone on since the end of last year. For one, I finished my chemo treatments in mid December. The nurses removed my P.I.C.C. line two days before new years eve. I can’t tell you how great it is to be able to take a shower without Saran cling wrap, garbage bags, bandages and waterproof tape. To be able to just get under the water without being encumbered or worrying that water will seep into my seemingly impenetrable plastic is seriously amazing. There are so many mundane things in life that we take for granted, showering is definitely one of them. The ability to wear long-sleeved clothing fits into that category as well. Another thing I’m glad to be able to do once again.

My doctors were worried about the fact that after each chemo treatment, my white blood cell count took a long time to recover. I remember when I was undergoing chemo the first time that they were able to give me something every week or at the most, every other week. It was now coming to the point where the count would still be dangerously low after three weeks. So, they thought it best to stop chemo and expedite my surgery as they didn’t want this thing to sit around in my body any longer than it needed to. The plan was to remove the affected part of my pelvic bone and replace the deficit with a plastic mesh. Flash forward to this month and the surgery has been cancelled and rescheduled 4 times. It was originally planned for January 13, but after careful consideration, my surgeon informed me that if he removed the amount of bone necessary to get rid of the tumor, I would be facing a major bone deficit. More than he had originally anticipated. So, he and the plastic surgeon thought it best to use another bone from my body and to graft it into the pelvis with metal plates and screws in order to securely fuse my pelvis to the spine. They then needed another cat scan to get 3-D imaging of my good leg as they plan to remove 4 inches of my fibula to use in the grafting. So, the surgery was cancelled and rescheduled for the following Tuesday, January 20th. When the time was drawing nearer, they said that the model would not be completed in time for the operation and that the plastic surgeon was going on vacation (again), and that they needed to reschedule it for this past Tuesday January 27. On Monday I was informed that due to the impending “Blizzard” all surgeries at the hospital had been cancelled. It’s now going to be this Monday, February 2.

I can’t begin to tell you what it feels like to be sitting on pins and needles for 3 weeks waiting to see if today is really the day that you are going to be cut into pieces. The nightmares alone have been enough to drive me to drink. I feel like I have been on a roller coaster of fear, panic, anger and anxiety. But then again, I’ve been on this ride since last June. All I want to do is get off in one piece, but I know that’s not really possible. I’m already missing little bits here and there. Cancer doesn’t just eat away pieces of your physical body, it also chips away little chunks of your soul. I have no idea how I managed to live through all of this once, it’s hard to imagine doing it again. Somehow I’ve managed to get through chemo to this halfway point but I’m terrified of what is standing between me and a real life again. I’ve blocked out a lot of what I went through after my first two surgeries. It was really bad. Recovering from the 3rd one was no picnic either, even though they didn’t cut bone that time. I still had to learn to walk again through months of PT. I can’t remember the last time I really felt like myself. I’m not sure that I’m ever going to feel like that person I was again. Like my surgeon said after he operated on my leg, it will be relatively functional, but it will never feel the same.  

Today the office called to confirm that we’re a go for Monday and I’m a wreck. I feel like I’m on the verge of a full-blown panic attack or bursting into tears at any minute. I’m trying hard to keep it together. Everyone always tells me that I’m so strong and brave but I’m really not. I’m fucking scared all the time. I just don’t have a choice. There is no choice when it comes to cancer. No choice and no control. And being out of control terrifies me. Whenever a doctor tells me something I can’t say no, it’s a do this or die situation. And I don’t want to die. Not now. I want to feel the sun on my face. I want to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning that doesn’t involve a medical consult/treatment. I want to have a rewarding and satisfying career. I want to have a nice boyfriend who loves me for who I am and doesn’t care about all the scars on my body. I want us to eventually get married and start a life together. Possibly a family. I want to travel to beautiful places and eat delicious food. I want to be free and leave all of this shit behind me. I don’t want to be worried about recurrence or what’s going to happen to me. I need this to truly be over in every sense of the word. I need some semblance of peace. I just want to be happy… 

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