Sunday, June 4, 2017

What Comes Next

I've had a lot of people ask what comes next in my journey. Instead of writing a million different messages, I figured why not another blog post. 

May 12th I finished my final day of radiation. It was one of the most exciting days that I had in a long time.  After my treatment was over I got to ring the bell. For those of you that dont know, when you finish treatments you get to ring a bell to represent the end of radiation. It was the first time in a long time, I felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel... 

5 weeks of radiation had nothing on the next few weeks. Even though I was finished with the treatments, they said my skin would be getting worse before it would get better. Boy were they right. I couldn't wear shoes other then house slippers, I had to use a cane for a bit because it hurt to walk, my skin was getting darker and gross every day. That light I thought I saw at the end of the tunnel started to get further away again. 

A few weeks after radiation ended I had my first appointment with my plastic surgeon. I always thought if I was going to need a plastic surgeon, it would be for a nose job, not reconstructive surgery for my foot. I guess that nose job is going to have to wait! 😀

So now what comes next. This surgery wont be a simple one. Since meeting my doctor, I've spent hours processing what comes next. The surgery is to go back into my foot, clear the remaining cancer and then finish up with a skin transplant. Because they want to make sure there is good blood flow to my foot after surgery they will take the skin and blood vessels from my left forearm and attach them to my foot. Then to close my arm, they will take skin from my stomach or groin. Because this surgery is pretty intense, they will be keeping me in the hospital for 5-7 days. The first few days, I feel are going to be the worst. I wont be able to get out of bed, move my foot, dangle it... I will be stuck with no place to go. After a few days they will start the process of allowing me to dangle my foot off the side of the bed. If all this goes well and there are no issues with blood flow, I will be released to go home. 

But thats not the end of it. It will be weeks before I will be up and walking on that foot. Lucky me, more days spent on crutches. I think about all this and sometimes I just want to burst into tears.  I'm no rookie when it comes to surgeries, however no recovery for those surgeries, comes close to what this will be like. The thought of being hauled up in bed for that long makes me crazy... good thing I like watching movies! 

As time gets closer to the surgery, the light that I saw a while back, is starting to get brighter again. There really is an end to all this. Part of me wishes this journey had never begun. But the other part of me is glad it did. A few months ago, everything was different. I look back and realize how strong I have been, how I was able to get through this difficult time, how I kept putting one foot in front of the other, even though I felt broken at times. I've realized that a few months can do a lot to a person. It can show you the person you want to be. One who wants to live in the now, rather then in the past. One who knows who her real friends are. One who is willing to take the road less traveled and be different. 

A few weeks, months, even years from now, I'll look back on this time and be able to say, remember when I had that crazy thing called Cancer? I still dont know why God chose this life for me, but I will always be grateful for the life I have. I have an amazing family who has bent over backwards for me, friends who have given countless hours out of their schedules to be with me for appointments, or lunches. Even strangers who see me in the store, or at lunch and tell me they will pray for a good outcome. It may feel as though my life sucks at times, but deep down I know I have the best life God could have given me. 

This is just a speed bump in the road. I am choosing to take the road less traveled, and in the end, it will make all the difference.