Well, my hair hung in there for a good long while, but it has now said goodbye. Why is chemo so selective, though? It appears I would still have to bikini-wax and chin-pluck. This does not seem fair.
I am extremely happy to report that after several rounds of testing and consultations, I have been cleared for surgery on Tuesday. In even better news, the surgeon canceled my last two chemo sessions, because she says I am where I need to be at this point. The goal now is to be as strong as possible for surgery.
So here ends Part I of the proceedings (dense-dose chemotherapy) and begins Part II (surgery and recovery), which will be followed by Part III (follow-up chemo). As I may have mentioned, it’s a marathon.
If you are the least bit squeamish, STOP READING NOW and skip to the last paragraph. The surgery set for Tuesday is called a “de-bulking” procedure. The chemo has prevented the cancer from spreading further, and it has reduced the size of the tumors. Now the surgeon will go in (1) to do a hysterectomy, of course; and also (2) to remove or reduce as much additional tumor as she can. With Stage 4 ovarian, the cancer will have spread well beyond the girl parts. There are many, many additional tumors – like hundreds of the little buggers. It’s a tumor convention in there. Some of them are attached to, or wrapped around, various vital organs and whatnot that I would prefer to keep – such as lungs, liver, intestines, and so forth.
Remission depends entirely on how much tumor the surgeon is able to remove. My quality of life during remission depends entirely on how much of the rest of me she can avoid removing in the process. It’s a complicated deal. I did ask the surgeon whether she could go ahead and do a little liposuction while she’s in there. She was not amused.
I have been told that I will spend a post-surgical day or two in the ICU, probably on a ventilator while fluid in my lungs dissipates; and then I will be in the hospital for about another week. Until I’m up and around, my law partners Julie and Debra are in charge of posting updates. The redhead wanted to do it, but he’s going to have his hands full. Also, he is still a little fuzzy on how Facebook actually works.
Your prayers and friendship have been and continue to be a comfort and inspiration to the redhead and me both. We have not for a single day felt alone in this. Thank you.