It’s now 23 days after my last operation (liver resection and removal of one out of two peritoneal lesions) and I’m finally getting my strength back. This one really took it outta me, and getting that nasty infection last week didn’t help. But I am definitely on the mend and of course the amazing biopsy results have helped a lot. Though I remain cautiously optimistic…

The thing is, I’ve still got a very long way to go before I reach the five-year “all clear” mark, in terms of recurrence.  And there are still 5-6 months of chemo coming up. But as Dr A pointed out when he called me the other day, I couldn’t have received better biopsy results, so at least I’ll be starting off the next treatment from the best possible place.

I’m assuming that they are going to put me back on the same “clean up chemo” I was on last time.  If so, I know I’ll have one awful week, one so-so week, and then one almost normal week before it starts all over again. Last time I “only” did three rounds, and found that the symptoms got worse each time. So if I have to do 8-10 rounds I can expect it to be quite rough, but I’m hoping that knowing how well my body responded last time – that the chemo is actually doing me some good – will help me get through the worst bits.

I’m also hoping to make some of the changes I’ve been mulling over the past few months. It’s definitely been a steep learning curve since last May and I’d like to start putting some of the stuff I’ve learned into practice, now that I am not so distracted by fear and dread.  Yoga & meditation are at the top of the list (I want to start back with my yoga classes in January), as well as eating better and otherwise doing positive stuff for my basic health and well-being.  I also need to get a new “career” going … must start making lists.  But mostly I want to get to know that very strong part of me that so often came through for me when I was alone and at my lowest. The one that looked Death in the face and then took my hand and showed me the real beauty of my life.  The part of me that is confident and unafraid, yet also incredibly humble and caring.  I really want to work on that relationship and make sure I spend some time with “her” every day.

You see, those first few months after I was diagnosed were such a nightmare for me, the constant fear being the worst of it. But then I realised that this Fear was actually a familiar “companion”, and that I’d been living in fear for as long as I could remember.  A fairly common condition for victims of childhood abuse, but hey, I’m almost 52 now – enough is enough already. It’s just that all the cancer stuff brought the Fear so close that it was quite unbearable, not to mention unavoidable. So I was forced to look at it and “get to know it”, as it were. Anyhow, developing these new relationships (both with Fear and my Fearless Self) is the most important thing out of all the stuff I’ve learned recently.  My mission (and I do choose to accept it) is to find the balance between those two and finally get off my own personal rollercoaster ride.

Now that would be progress!