Updated: Jan 30, 2021
Seems like it's been a while. Has it felt like that for you? Maybe time just moves more slowly for people with tumors the size of their fetal twin floating around their abdomen. (And yes, I already asked them if maybe it's my twin and they said no so here we are. God, can you imagine two Faith Conleys?).
There's this really odd balance that a cancer patient is forced to achieve between being your own strongest advocate and trusting that your doctors don't deem it necessary to cut you open like right now. If you know me well, I'm a Right Now person. I see a problem and I want it fixed. It could be my problem. It could be a problem you have that you don't even want me to try and fix but goddammit LET'S FIX IT TODAY. Give me some grace, I'm working on it.
That being said, I have a "tentative" surgery date at UCSF for February 11. That will be exactly four months from the day I headed to the ER thinking the worst that would happen is I'd be leaving my gall bladder behind in one of those biohazard trash cans. That seems like forever in this weird world in which I've been existing, especially since they still don't really know what it is. But - and while there is always the possibility and honestly not an uncommon one that they'll find more when they get in there - I need to be confident that this is indeed a very slow-growing cancer that my body has encapsulated in one place and calcified like Jurassic Fucking Park. (Because my body is a ROCKSTAR).
It's yet to be determined if I'll lose some of my blood vessel and a kidney. Most of us are lucky enough to have a stunt double kidney, so if that needs to go, we'll just call the back-up ninja kidney. Half of my liver will come out and I'm hoping the half that stays behind doesn't get depressed. I won't know if more treatment is necessary until they get in there.
I'm excited for this next step, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I have a bit of a breakdown sometimes over the fear associated with the surgery and such a long hospital stay. I may not remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I distinctly recall the loneliness and pain I experienced following my 1993 scoliosis surgery. My parents came as often as they could then; no one can visit me this time due to COVID. I'll wake up alone. I'll fall asleep alone. I'll take my first painful steps following surgery alone. I'll hear any news alone.
(Please wear your mask. Please stop going to gatherings. Please stop making people like me endure shitty situations solo because of this ongoing pandemic.)
And that's that! I'll be taking suggestions for bingeable shows or ways to suck up to nurses so I get the good Jell-O.