Where were you on January 6th, 2010?
I was on an operating table having my rectum removed.
How many people can say something like that??
Isn't it strange how much life can change in just one year? At this point last year, I was on the edge of Step 2 of Get Rid of Cancer: abdominoperineal resection surgery. At this point last year, I'd battled through radiation and the chemo pump. At this time last year, I had no idea how hard the last chemo treatments would be, and I had no idea if I could do it or not. I feel like I was tested in the last year, tested like I've never been tested before.
Did I pass? How do you know if you passed?
I like to think I did.
Once in a while I miss my rectum, I miss the way my body was. I certainly wish the whole surgery had turned out differently, that my wound had healed properly. Right now it still gets packed once a day with iodoform, and I'm still considering a plastic surgery option (although I think I may let things ride until fall, see how much healing happens).
And oh stoma, my stoma. We're getting along fairly well, I think. I don't write a lot about it because there isn't much to say. That's probably a good thing.
What a crazy year it's been. I sometimes wonder where I'd be if I hadn't been run over by the cancer bus. I have a new appreciation for what it means to be a friend. Cancer is on my radar now, and I can empathize with people who are struggling with cancer in a way I never could before. My priorities are different. I think I'm more brave, more purposeful.
Like I've been saying for over a year, give your loved ones a hug today. You never know what life is going to throw at you. I know I'll be hugging mine.