March 19th, two months exactly to the day that I had my last surgery!
Hard to believe in many ways that it has been that long, but in other ways seems like such a short time. In the past I would be almost back to normal....what ever that is, but not now. There is no 'normal' to return to.....except a completely 'new normal'. I am still trying to just get my energy back and learn how to get around. This one was different. The lasting effects are now visual, which means a whole new way of dealing with it. Previous surgeries were solely inside and under garments so that I could get away with looking like nothing happened at least to those who I didn't know.
Not any more. I now have a leg brace and a walker...definitely a noticeable change. I don't think I realized how vain I was before. Not too thrilled about this new appendature ! You see my cancer had travelled, or as the doctors like to say 'invaded', the bone. This necessitated the removal of my Illiac crest, femoral nerve, and psoas muscle on my right leg. For most these may not even be familiar but they are the essential parts of your upper thigh and pelvic bones that allow you to lift and move your leg forward. I no longer have that ability and it is permanent. So I walk with the aid of a brace and walker/cane. As I write this, I feel like I am complaining and maybe I am. I know that I will get used to this new way of moving and I will overcome it but I have to admit I think this may be the hardest time in my life. I have actually wondered if I have taken this fight too far this time. You see this was not really anticipated when discussing the possible consequences of the surgery. It was believed that I would have minor nerve/muscle damage and a rebuilt hip....neither of which happened. The tumour was more extensive and therefore there was more resection needed. Had I known would I have gone through with it? Then I am reminded of my beautiful daughter and granddaughter and realize there can never be a 'too far' as long as I get to enjoy them.
It doesn't mean that I don't resent this stage of my life. It only means that I will overcome that resentment and learn to live in a new way. Life is a journey of both good and bad, and the attitude we take to it determines how we deal with what comes our way. I remember when I was the mother of a young child, no car, and having to take the bus in the freezing cold. I never really thought about how hard and onerous that must have seemed to others watching, I just did what was necessary. When I look back on that time I laugh at how naïve I was. I just did what I had to do, but it does seem like an awful lot of work!!! So, in the same vein as that, I will again just do what I have to do and not think to much about it. Maybe in a few years I will look back and be surprised but now I don't have the time to do that.
So, surgery is done. For all intents and purposes it was successful. So right now at this minute I am cancer free and healthier than I have been in a long time. I no longer have the horrible pain I had before surgery and not only that but I missed the coldest winter on record. As spring rounds the corner and the snow melts, I will begin my new life with a bit of a limp but still some spunk in my step. Especially with Maize at my side.