September 30, 2015

Personal: A Tale of Surgical Repetition

I don't like getting personal online. It feels weird sharing stories with strangers I may never meet. But sometimes, when I encounter others with similar issues, or wonder myself if there are people out there who go through what I do, I just want to share.

Without getting too deep in details, I went through cancer treatment soon after Penny was born. The cancer itself was treatable, though advanced, and at the time, the solution seemed straightforward. Surgery and chemo, then I'm good. In that time, it's actually been dozens of surgeries, rather than one or two, and the complications are never-ending.

I went for nearly a year without any complications and thought I was all good. Unfortunately, for who knows how long, I'd had fluid building up inside my abdomen and it wasn't happy to be there and caused complications. The fix for this was to be a simple surgery, but that really didn't fix the problem. My faith in getting a final resolution so I can live my life without thinking of how I got to that situation was waning.

After a second opinion and a lot of frustration and tests, it was decided that I could postpone future surgeries as long as I could live with what I was living with, which is uncomfortable and annoying, requires some self-care, but isn't painful. 18 months later, I can't ignore it anymore and need to take next steps.

I'm waiting to know what my options are. Without any clue of why I continue to have fluid that won't drain away, I'm fearful of any potential fixes as they're not likely to be permanent. Next step is probably more surgery, followed by more surgery, and then more surgery. It's cyclical.

Some days I feel like the point of surgery is to need more surgery. I know that's not really true, but as someone going through it, it's just how I personally feel at the moment. If future surgery solves everything, I promise I'll take it back.

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