Two years ago this afternoon, I heard words that changed my life and the lives of many around me. Disbelief, fear, anger, grief and so many other emotions accompanied it.
The words sounded something like this:
DIAGNOSIS: “Stage IV Carcinoid Cancer with Carcinoid Syndrome; primary tumor in the mesentery, with mets to the liver.”
PRESCRIPTION: “Surgery to remove the mesenteric tumor and the right lobe of liver. If I see anything else in there, I will just close you up rather than do the surgery, because there will be nothing I can do.”
PROGNOSIS: “Six months to a year if you do this surgery; two, if you are lucky.”
Many know that I chose to go elsewhere, and of the fiasco/nightmare that followed where one particular doctor was concerned, but I am so grateful for the new team at UWMC. My primary tumor was not as the Madigan doctor described.
I did have a new surgical team and they removed about two feet of my small intestine, the mesenteric tumor (a metastases), and a few small tumors removed from my left lobe of a very fatty liver. Had the right lobe been removed, as the original surgeon was going to do, my “mortality would have been at issue.”
Am I lucky? I choose not to think of life as lucky or unlucky.
I am grateful.
–Grateful that through all the emotion I had the wherewithal to keep questioning, challenging, and choosing what I thought best for me rather than one doctor’s view of the situation.
–Grateful for the team of all the people involved, as the chain-of-events helped me to accept myself, in all my pain-in-the-ass-direct-approach-to-life personality type.
–Grateful for all the support I have received from all in my life for however long or whenever it was given.
–Especially grateful for all who have stuck around and not ignored me and my situation or who have not walked away, as there have been many who have, dealing with their own issues and emotions surrounding this. I get it.
So perhaps I really am lucky. Lucky to have found many who have remained my friends through it all, loved me in spite of myself, and encouraged me along the way. Lucky to have made friends who have done so regardless of this cancer. And for you I am truly grateful. You have taught me about love, life, peace and understanding.
So, TWO YEARS!
Aren’t you glad that I’m a pain-in-the-ass and aren’t ready to go yet? There is still time for us all to enjoy one another. No more wasted time, okay?
Take life by storm, folks. It’s the only way to do it.