After the surgery to remove Slimer, I was told that I’d start to feel normal again around the eight week mark.
What they didn’t tell me was that this would be the “new” normal.
Yeah, I’m getting better. Life has resumed – day-job, mild socializing, wearing jeans (this was a BIG deal, people! I’d been restricted to soft-waistband leggings and pjs for EIGHT WEEKS!). I’m even cleared to go back to the gym next week, so long as I keep it to a moderate walk on the treadmill, and light weights/lo reps.
But the road’s got a lot of miles yet to unroll. I’ve spent the past few weeks adjusting for an almost total loss of core muscle strength, not to mention adjusting to surgical menopause (helLO hot flashes!). I couldn’t sleep on my side or back until just last week. I’m still easily exhausted, and you probably don’t want to know about my lingering digestive issues. And those issues are requiring a new and very different way of interacting with food (damn it).
And last Wednesday, 8 weeks after I came out of surgery almost to the hour, a series of sharp, stabbing pains sent me back to Urgent Care, and another $$$ CT scan. Because my surgeon warned me not to fuck around with Those Pains, and paranoia is now a survival skill.
The scan didn’t show anything actionable, just a few things to keep an eye on (adhesions, oh yay!), and yet another adjustment to my diet. But it drove home yet again the knowledge that this isn’t a one-and-done, that “five year plan” doesn’t mean career goals, but life. And when people say “I’m glad you’ve healed up!” there’s part of me that smiles and says thank you, and part of me that thinks, “I’m fucking not done, not yet.” I still can’t make any long-term (or even short-term) plans, although I plan to be at Norwescon, and I’ve rolled the dice and signed up for the Nebula Awards Weekend this spring down in Los Angeles. Beyond that, it’s a week-to-week mystery.
On the amusing side, I got to explain about appendiceal cancer and HIPEC to my attending doctor in the ER, so that was fun. Yes, the darker side of my humor is definitely getting a workout….
I meet with the oncology specialist in a week. Hopefully after that we’ll have a more definite game plan.
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