It takes a long time to resurface after surgery. Even now I am a little woozy. I am home at last after eight days in hospital. It is time that I composed a post that describes my outcome.
The palliative procedures went brilliantly. The urinary diversion and hysterectomy was fine. I did not need a total vaginectomy, only a partial which is conventional for hysterectomy. Unfortunately, the vagina and rectum were fused by scar tissue, and needed to be separated, so now I have a temporary ileostomy. I called my previous ileostomy Flipper in The Cancer Olympics. Flipper No. 2 may or may not be reversible. I will know in about 6 months.
But the really bad news was that cancer cells were found in my pelvic sidewall. This is inoperable. The culprit for this invasion was indeed the right internal iliac node, as suspected in The Cancer Olympics, which implies that I was stage IV all along. It was already too late for me seven years ago, thanks to Doctors One, Two, Three and Four. My surgeon Carman held my hand as he delivered this bleak news.
Carman holds out some hope that further chemotherapy might help me. We will discuss this in February, when I meet with my oncologist in several weeks’ time.
Today’s song is by alternative artist Beck: “Waking Light.” The video below is of a live performance on The Tonight Show. This song was one of the finest releases on Beck’s masterpiece 2014 album, Morning Phase, for which he won the Grammy for the Best Album of the Year (snatched from under the noses of Beyonce and Ed Sheeran). He also won Best Engineered Album and Best Rock Album of 2014. “Waking Light” is a psychedelic song about emerging, about waking up. It resonates with me for how it feels to surface after my long surgery, with so much unknown, and so much ending, and so much beginning.
When the memory leaves you
Somewhere you can’t make it home
When the morning comes to meet you
Rest your eyes in the waking light
This blog post originally appeared on The Cancer Olympics. It is republished with permission.