Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Flesh and Bone
Last week was 21 years since I had my cancer surgery, effectively making it 21 years since I've been cancer free.
There was no radiation. No chemo. If they couldn't get the entire tumor there was nothing they could truly do for me. But they got it.
I think the last time I wrote about it was two years ago. I also touched on it in 2008 and 2006. But you know, this just might be the last of them. How long can I milk this as a blog post?
I'm thinking 4-5 times in 11 years is enough. Wow - half my survivor time has been blogging time too. Who knew?
I decided to gross you out with external images this time. Last time is was an x-ray of my pins and plate. (and my peen.....if you look closely enough).
But surgery is an ugly beast. And painful. Though it might be argued that removing of the staples and the growing back of my hair on my legs was as equally (say it like Snape!) painful.
Actually, the most difficult thing was learning how to step over the two inch lip of the shower base. Do I put my weak leg over that lip first, making me bear weight on it as the good leg follows? Or do I put the good leg in first and have to hop the bad leg in with the risk of slipping?
They didn't teach me this in physical therapy - just how to get up and down stairs. ....not helpful!
My father HATED taking these pictures of me. Not because his son was now a scarred monster or that he was diagnosed with a malignant cancer. No, having your son hike up his tighty whities for a picture or two was never in his Parent's Manual.
Clearly the lighting was better in the post-staple removal image - and I played with the settings for the one with the staples, so imagine how much it looked before I lightened it up for you.
The two "dots" you see at the bottom of the scar are where my drain was to get rid of extra fluid. Pretty- huh?
I still have all those scars, though they have lightened up considerably, and that hair has grown back. Not grown back on the scar, but around the scar. I'm just so hairy, there is a comb-over like technique that hides it all unless I swim or shower and they get wet. Then all bets are off.
I'm good with showing off my scars. They are a weird badge of honour.
My internal med doc loves looking at them. Go figure. Almost every visit he asks to see them, on the premise to see how I'm doing - even if it is not cancer check-up related.
Since my cancer wasn't external, I'm not sure what he'd glean from eye-balling my right leg, but hey, if it makes him feel better, he can knock himself out. If he's getting other jollies from seeing my hairy gam(s), well, I don't think it's billable, so I hope he just makes sure to lock his office door after I leave.
There is little to no risk of recurrence. The tumor is gone. Hell, my femur is gone along with it. But I'm finding out I can't use that much as an excuse for stuff.
In yoga, this very nice woman was bemoaning not being able to do poses. I was trying to be encouraging by saying of course she could, as I can with a plate and nine pins. But she had to one-up me on the number of additional pins and plates she has.
David just looked at me like "you can't top that one!" ...and I couldn't. Somehow in the war of disease, I'd lost this one. And I lost by winning. It was all very strange.
Yes, I think this is my retirement from cancer update posts. But feel free to come back and enjoy the leg shots.
Song by: the Killers