as everyone says, this whole thing is up and down and up and down again.
we saw the liver surgeon today. the problem with the tumours there are that they are too big. way too big. they are completely inoperable at the moment, and we are relying on the chemotherapy to shrink them. however, they need to shrink significantly before they can even think about operating, because there’s just not enough liver left – they are also pushing on the second blood vessel into the other lobe of the liver.
he said there are three categories of liver mets – ones that are operable, ones that might be operable, and those that are inoperable. he said i am in the middle category, heading towards inoperable. and that’s after the chemo.
there are a lot more things they can do to try and shrink them, or manage them. there’s a lot they can do to help, and there’s even a very slim chance i could be cured. it is unlikely. it is unlikely that i will ever be cured of cancer. this is the space of staring into a deep empty dark hole. i mean, you can live with cancer, and live with it for a long time. but it will be this, most likely, that kills me one day. it’s almost liberating to know that, and just mostly horrible and heartbreaking and i just don’t want to talk to people about it. i just want to disappear.
again he emphasised that i am young and healthy. that the itching and the nausea is likely to be unrelated to the liver, and that i’m not jaundiced.
you know, despite all this writing and all these words it still isn’t real to me. it still feels … detached. the idea of cancer. the Thought of cancer. verses the reality, which is constant phone calls, and appointments. doctors saying how sorry they are that this is happening to me. my own capacity to not cry or shake with these appointments grows a little bit, day by day. today though – a surgeon saying he might not be able to remove the cancer – makes me feel just dead inside. dead and broken and helpless. followed in quick succession with the chemotherapy plan, and more scans. the PET scan decides everything. where else is the cancer?
how the fuck can there even BE cancer? i stayed out of the sun. i tried to eat well. i walked a decent amount each day. i had green smoothies. i did what doctors told me. i sorted out my bipolar – worked so hard for it, to get past that point. i did so much fucking work, and for what? to know i’ve had fucking cancer all that time, and there might not be anything they can do about it. there’s yet to have been anything invasive done, really, other than the scans and tests, and it all feels miles away. ‘One Day At A Time’ etc. well, ok. today bought ‘there is more chance than not that we cannot remove the cancer from your liver’. that’s today then.
so far, it looks like i will have chemo, followed by surgery, followed by more chemo. i am BRAVE. i am STRONG. i want to give the fuck up and just let this all take me because i have no idea how the fuck anyone does this. let alone how i can do this.
everyone is having babies and getting married and going on holidays and living their lives and i am going to spend the next few months vomiting, or with a drip in my arm, with toxins in my body, with advanced stage 4 cancer, with a chance they can’t even operate on my liver, with the chance it is in other parts of my body. then i will have whatever surgery they can do, and then i will have more chemotherapy. i am not buying baby clothes, i am not getting excited about putting in a new kitchen (we wanted a new kitchen) i am not getting excited about new work opportunities. i don’t get to think about my next spinning wheel, or how one day we are going to move to tasmania and have a great vegetable patch. i fought so long, and so hard to get well – to pull myself out of the bipolar stupor that almost killed me, only to find myself staring at a liver filled with inoperable tumours.
you try being brave, being strong, and only thinking of the moment. just fucking try it.