Two-Year Cancerversary


 

Two years ago today I was told a tumor was found on routine pathology of my appendix following an emergent appendectomy on July 11, 2012.  The cancer was goblet cell carcinoid, a rare type, and not related to the breast cancer I experienced in 2001.   About a month following the appendectomy, I underwent more surgery – right hemi-colectomy and bilateral oophorectomy – related to the GCC.  Once again, I was lucky, blessed – being “watched out for” by some Spirit greater than myself – in so many ways.  Finding the tumor at Stage II, being assigned my particular surgeon just because he was on call the date of my ER visit for the appendix (and who says first thing about the tumor, “I’m going for a cure.”), the superb care provided by the staff of the local community hospital.  My husband Dave falls into that category, too.  This was not my first rodeo with the cancer experience, so it was harder on him than me.  You know what?  He stepped right up with no hesitation and once again proved to be a man and husband in the truest senses of those words.

Melissa Etheridge’s The Awakening is filling my ears as I visit with you this evening.  This album of hers particularly speaks to me.  She compiled it following her cancer experience.  It’s serious, insightful, spiritual and rockin’.

Overall 5-year survival rate for GCC of the appendix is approximately 77%.  That’s not too bad, not too great.  That’s not being morbid.  That’s being realistic, although statistics don’t mean squat.   I could trip over a groundhog and break my neck tomorrow or live to be 105.  Not sure I want to live to 105, though. 

What it is, however, is a benchmark by which I can strive to live my life.

Hey, I’ve made it two years, getting a literal thumbs-up from my surgeon and a hug at this year’s check-up following CT scan.  Did I mention my surgeon is awesome?  When was the last time a surgeon (or any physician) gave you their personal cell phone number on hospital discharge in case you had questions or concerns?  He rocks.

Whether I have three years, three minutes or three decades left in this world, the thing is to live every day to its max as much as possible. 

All anyone has is right here, right now.

So how did I spend my cancerversary?  Didn’t even dawn on me it was today until this evening.

Dave and I went up the hill to the local farmers market this morning.  Dave appreciates a good tomato and the ones at this market are totally yummy, so he walked away with a small basket of them.  I scored some homemade bread topped with feta cheese and onions.  Yum!

From there we went to Walmart, where Dave picked up a couple of grocery items and I made a few purchases in the garden department, a new 100-foot hose and a pot for an office plant that has outgrown its current home.  Returning home, Dave mowed his portion outside the front fence and I washed our RV.

July 19 washed the RV

Not perfect, but better than it was and it’s white again!

I actually enjoy washing the RV!  Our home looks after us, so I enjoy giving it some TLC.

Dinner was leftover King Ranch Casserole from yesterday and some of that bread from the market warmed up a bit.  Sure was nice to have leftovers after we were both busy this afternoon.  After dinner, I received a phone call from a girlfriend of my Brenham days and we had a fine catch-up yap session.  She and her husband are now living the full-time life, too.  The three of us – me, Dave and Maggie – had a nice evening walk a while ago.  Dave is now watching a movie over in the rig and I’m here in the office with Melissa and you. 

My life has been – and still is – so very amazing, filled with sparkling gems who are friends, experiences of both spiritual and physical natures which have been breathtaking, adventures on my own which still amaze me when I recall them (I did that??), the souls who have passed through my life briefly for a particular purpose, the adventures Dave and I have shared over the past nine years . . . and just look at that RV up there in the photo.  That’s my dream, folks.  Living this lifestyle. 

To those of you who walked beside me on that path two years ago . . . thank you – thank you ever so much for your support during that time.  Your words certainly bolstered and strengthened me.  I am grateful for your presence in my life.

Carpe diem!

Thanks for stopping by!

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