Today is one of my cancerversaries. Yes, there is a word amongst cancer survivors for the various cancer anniversaries. There is the date of your diagnosis, which most of us count as our survivor date. The date of your surgery, today for me, the date of chemotherapy if you have it, the date you get your NED (no evidence of disease status) and the date you get that taken away, if it so happens.
Four years ago today was my surgery date, my nephrectomy. They cut my from inside my navel all the way up the mid-line to under my left breast. 16.5 inches of incision. My surgeon told me it would be an easier recovery than the flank incision that typically comes with having a nephrectomy. Of course, we didn’t actually find this out before my surgery, I found out when I was waking up and I hurt down the mid-line.
If you look at my abdomen, it is scarred, fairly badly, but this body isn’t a bikini bod anyway, it is what it is, the only person who sees it is my husband, Tony. He has traced it with his finger in the past, never saying what he’s thinking, only holding me and gently caressing the line that saved me. From time to time, I run my fingers down it, feeling where each internal stitch was, and where the lumps of scar tissue still exist.
The scar itself doesn’t bother me, it is how cutting through my entire abdominal wall destroyed my stomach. I have always been a large woman, but the surgery changed my shape so drastically that there were many clothes I could no longer wear afterward. My stomach apron hangs much lower than it ever did, and honestly, until I can have fat ass surgery, and the subsequent abdominalplasty it will stay this way.
Yes, I have surgery planned for my weight, eventually. I have had multiple hold ups due to cancer related issues. Right now, there is the wait for lung scans to come up clear, or at least with no growth, again. If they don’t grow, it is less likely they are metastatic disease. If they grow, well, that means cancer and no kidney cancer survivor wants to hear they have mets to their lungs.
Back to the good thing though, four years and no growth of any cancer in my abdomen is a good thing. My left kidney works well and has taken over completely for the one I lost. I am dealing with the side effects of having cancer, the nephrectomy, the lymphedema. It isn’t easy, but I am alive. I am not on chemotherapy, I am moving on forward in my life. Slowly, but surely I am reclaiming my life from the cancer, from my other health issues, and my disability. One day at a time make be cliche and overused, but damn if it isn’t what I am doing.
Now, in Holidailies news, a quick introduction for anyone who is new here. I’m Suzy, 37, married to Tony for 14 years, together for 16. I have been writing here on MutteringFooldotCom since 2000 if I remember correctly.
In my non-internet life I am a freelance writer. Right now my main contract is for a small local weekly newspaper covering politics, government and the occasional lifestyle story. My contract just ren. ewed so it has been over a year since I have been with the paper.
I also take care of some of my nieces and nephews on the weekends while my sister works. Her kids are 13, 4, 3, and 1. They are awesome kids and I love spending as much time with them as I can, just like I did with her oldest when she was little, and with two of my older nephews. All the kids call me Aunt Pooh because of her oldest daughter, Kyrsie, who couldn’t say Sue (which is what the husband calls me.) I love it and wouldn’t want to be called anything else.
More tomorrow, 30 days to go, welcome to Holidailies 2012, glad to be along for the ride!