Friday, October 16th I underwent surgery to have my hepatic artery infusion pump removed. During the surgery, Nancy was writing.
We stopped using the pump back in March. I experienced some of the rare side effects that do significant damage to your liver. Go figure.
The pump was never going to be used to treat my cancer. It was not very pleasant, required trips to Philadelphia for servicing, and meant I could not have an MRI.
An MRI provides the most precise picture of what is going on inside my liver. Clearer pictures equal better decisions regarding treatment moving forward. It was time for the pump to go.
The surgery was quick. After a few hours in the recovery room, I was on my way home.
My recovery has been relatively simple and straightforward. A few days of rest, and I am feeling much better. I am taking more naps these days. It is a sign that my cancer is growing. Some people say it is a sign I am getting older. While that may be true, I have learned to understand my body pretty well. Lower energy, more naps, something is not quite right in the liver.
I visit Dr. Saroha on Friday. We will make final plans, and then round four of chemotherapy starts on Monday.
That is where I am—enough about me.
During my surgery Nancy spent some time writing. She permitted me to share it with you here.
What is Strength?
What is strength?
My husband has cancer. Life is hard.
People call me strong. I don’t feel strong.
I feel empty.
But conversations with friends and shared stories begin to fill the void.
I lack words.
But then I sit next to him quietly. Together, in silence, we can recharge.
I feel helpless.
But we can rely on the wisdom of the doctors to know how to proceed.
I see darkness ahead.
But then we spend precious time together, and I begin to embrace hope.
I feel torn.
But then I take a breath and do the best I can for all those who need me at this moment.
I grieve loss.
But then I remember that the present is here. We can make the most of now.
I feel frustration.
But then I accept people for who they are and the limitations of their emotions.
I accept truth.
And live with faith in gratitude for the blessings we have had.
I feel empathy.
And share with others going through similar pain.
I give myself.
And approach each day of this journey as one I will not regret.
I feel joy.
And know that our love will not end but morph into an everlasting bond.
I stay here.
And hold his hand and his heart. And am glad that he “can’t do this without me.”
What is strength?
I am not sure. And please stop telling me I have it. But I will keep aiming high.
©Nancy Nicewonger 2020