Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Game Changer

Sometimes life hands you a game changer. September 1, 2012 began like any other day, quite usual, but looking back now, I realize it would change my life forever at many levels. That evening I fell going downhill and severely broke my wrist--from my arm. The bleeding fracture was subsequently diagnosed as a com-minuted fracture with failed distil radius with a volar shear that would continue to slide down. Articular fractures went into the joint and choosing surgery was simply not an option. Neither was returning for the first day of school. That inner voice told me I was in for a long fight back to normal. And I was.

Surgery on September 15 reattached my wrist to the arm by a series of 7 screws to a plate that buttressed wrist to arm. I was blessed with a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Richard Battista, the first step in a series of long and painful days fighting to regain a modicum of use. I always tell my surgeon I can see his halo in the distance so I always recognize him.

Tomorrow is March 15, the 6th month anniversary of my surgery, and I am just about as good as I think I will get, although I am told that even incremental improvement will continue for "upwards of a year." I am reminded of the medieval trope in fiction of the middle ages, that "year and a day" language that is my new normal.

The hardest battle is the one I fight every day: therapy. I've lived at OAA daily since September. Several weeks ago, the tapering of visits began, and next Wednesday I'll be discharged, both from hand (left) and shoulder (right) OT and PT, respectively. A long fight back. One I could not have won without the amazing hand therapists and sports medicine talented people at OAA who supported and healed me on all fronts.

The reality: I progressed farther than anyone in the facility expected, but exactly what my friends and family knew would happen.

And how does all of this connect to cancer?

Quite simply. Do NOT fall and break anything, especially if it requires surgery, because no matter what conventional literature will tell you, cutting your body open when you have cancer tends to cause a cancer spike. And that's what happened to me. My cancer is on the march, a slow one, and a remission might occur. Or not. I'll know in another month. I do not know how long the surgery was, no does it matter. I had to undergo surgery and I knew the risks, but no surgery was NOT an option. Putting a device inside your body forces your system to accept it, and my NHL meant my lymph nodes were already compromised. Forcing all the edema through those nodes was difficult. So, I have a node in my neck and one under my arm that show growth, both on the same side as my mending wrist.

What will time tell? The verdict is still out. But what I do know, and have always known and believed, is in my inner strength. I am a fighter by nature and incredibly determined on all fronts to achieve the end game. Mine today, tomorrow, and the days thereafter will look the same: beating back cancer, one strategy at a time ~ one day at a time.
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1 comment:

  1. Your spirit is amazing and continues to inspire me.