I’ve been dragging my feet on this update because I don’t like being the bearer of bad news. Usually when we hit a rough patch I leave the updates to Natasha (or Leigh), but this time I’ll do the dirty work myself.
Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, let me just say: I’m still cancer free. And, thank God for that!
However, my chemo is on hold for the time being, as some complications have surfaced that must be addressed. You may (or may not) remember the pneumonia I battled last year left a small cyst in the right upper lobe of my lung. After various examinations, a CT scan, and a brochoscopy, we have learned that the cyst has become infected. At this point, the doctors believe the best course of action is to have it surgically removed.
Natasha and I met with the surgeon last week, who told me “you look better than your chart,” and assured us that he felt confident the procedure would be a success. Surgery is scheduled for May 8th, with anywhere from 4-6 days in the hospital to recover.
Physically, I feel strong. I rode my bike this morning and have been able to get back into a regular routine at the gym. Emotionally, I’m discouraged but not distraught. There are a lot of reasons to feel good about this. I am physically strong, I have a functioning immune system, and removing the cyst eliminates a potential source of future complications. There are a lot of reasons to be thankful.
All that said, this still sucks.
I’m not going to say this is just another bump in the road, or hurdle to clear, because I’m tired of those analogies. This feels like another brick wall to run through. But we’ll do it. What choice do we have?
I’m always finding inspiration in unexpected places, and earlier this week I was inspired by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and the story of one author’s journey to follow the race from the air. It’s a long read (with some beautiful photos) but highly recommended if you can find the time. Here’s the link to the full story: Out in the Great Alone
One of my favorite passages comes all the way at the end, when the author comes to a certain realization about the whole race, and why people (and dogs) subject themselves to such extremes:
Who knew what would ever be there tomorrow? And it hit me that that was exactly the point of the Iditarod, why it was so important to Alaska. When everything can vanish, you make a sport out of not vanishing. You submit yourself to the forces that could erase you from the earth, and then you turn up at the end, not erased.
I guess, in a way, we’re all racing our own personal Iditarod, making a sport out of not vanishing. I like that idea.
Will plan to keep everyone posted as surgery approaches!
Lots of love,