You may have read my last blog post A personal update, in which I write about the emotional roller coaster I have been on for longer than I care to think. What to do? Have surgery, don’t have surgery? Do it now, do it later?
I’m going to cut this short. I asked friends what to do. I can work out fine, with modifications, but I’m definitely in pain. Everyone I asked urged me to go through with it. Just do it! You’ll feel so much better when you have it behind you. Just think how great things will be once you’ve healed.
I sent an e-mail to the surgeon, asking two questions. Are these things growing? And, in her opinion, is surgery in my future? Whatever the word future means… now, in a year, in two years.
Last week, September 10 (my birthday), I received a phone call from another doctor, who works with my surgeon, and who confirmed, that yes, they are growing. We don’t know how fast, but they are growing. Also, yes, I will eventually have to have surgery. It is not “if” but “when”. I asked him, if he thought it made sense for me to have surgery now, considering that I am symptomatic. He said, yes, it made sense… As a matter of fact, it would probably be of great advantage to me to do it now, as the surgery is still “uncomplicated” (I’m putting that word in quotes, because I can’t think of liver resection as uncomplicated), and the likeliness of complications is much lower now.
These words were what I needed to hear. It was what finally made this decision the no-brainer that everyone said it was. I scheduled surgery for October 16. Instant relief. Finally I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. Now I could focus on preparing for the “big event”. I notified all of my friends and family, and the reaction was positive all around. I celebrated my birthday with my family, and I lived every minute to the fullest.
The next day I broke down. Just like that, without warning, I broke down… and I didn’t know why. I read all the comments from friends on Facebook. You’ll do great! Just do it! Before you know it, you’ll be back to CrossFit! Soon you’ll be on the road to recovery! No big deal! It makes complete sense! I thought of the conversations I’d had with friends. They all were so upbeat, so happy for me! What reason did I have to break down, to be unhappy? I was completely caught off guard by my own reaction. What was wrong with me?
And then it occurred to me…
– I am scared. I am scared of this surgery, that lasts 6 hours. I am scared of having 3/4 of my liver taken out. I am scared of not waking up.
– I am sad. Sure, they all tell me to be happy, now that I have this all figured out. But really, I am NOT happy. I am about to have major surgery, that will leave me helpless for weeks on end. I had to reschedule the beginning of my Nutritional Therapy class until February. I cannot go to CrossFit until February. The great and wonderful road to recover also means, that I cannot do what I so desperately want to do now. Go ahead, tell me to get a grip. Tell me, that I should be grateful that at least I will be back to my good old self… that at least I don’t have cancer… that at least there is an end in sight. But I’m still sad, because I don’t want to put my life on hold, and I don’t want surgery. Just please, let me be sad!
– I am pissed off. I’m living this healthy life. I don’t smoke. I drink only moderately. I work out. Why is this happening to me? It’s not fair. And I’m having the hardest time sitting here and making a happy face, when I’m really very pissed off.
– I feel guilty. I feel guilty for dragging my family down into the dumps with me. I’m guilty for being scared, I’m guilty for being pissed off, I’m guilty for feeling sad, when the expectation is that I should be happy. I’m guilty, because I know that other people have it so much worse than me. I feel very silly for having all of these emotions. And at the same time I want to feel entitled to my feelings. I want to be able to say, that I’m scared and angry and sad, and that I am not even close to happy.
My timeline is this:
one week at the hospital… hooked up to drains and catheders and who knows what.
six weeks at home…
four months without CrossFit… (yes, I feel sorry for myself about CrossFit. Yes, to me this is a big deal, because I LOVE CrossFit. I love the workouts, I love the community, I love everything about it. It is a huge part of my life. I don’t want to take a break!)
Almost a year until I am completely recovered. According to the professionals. Heck, my liver will have regenerated after 6 weeks. Why can’t I recover that fast?
I’m scared out of my head for posting this. I’m scared to be judged. I’m scared of angry readers saying mean things. But at the same time, I very much feel I NEED to post it. I need to get this off my chest, as part of my processing this new situation in my life. It’s how I cope. This is my outlet.
Please be gentle with me.
I have to say here, that I am very lucky to have an amazingly supportive husband in all of this. He has my back. He stands by my side, and he has offered words of wisdom and kindness. And he has given me permission to not be happy, to not be upbeat. So I should add one more point to my list.
I am grateful. I’m grateful for my husband, whose loving care has pulled me through this so far, and whom I can lean on anytime. I’m grateful for my friends, who are here for me to help with meals, carpooling, play dates, counseling and so much more. So, thank you for everything you do, and for being here for me. I love you guys!