Surgery Planned *as for the non-climbers, see translation below;)
Good news and bad news from basecamp: Scans taken of the summit route were reviewed by my expedition leaders last week and I received a call from the sun doctor (RT) on Thursday, he said the good news was that the colorectal route had shrunk a bit, in addition to stability of the surrounding rocks (nodes). Not as much as they had hoped, but still a good sign of stability in the hazardous terrain. Though a kicker moment as talk of an Annaperlung Expedition is now on the table. The 3 lung spots have grown a bit, possibly avalanche debris from Ama Dabum. After reviewing the scans of the planned summit route, my two expedition leaders Scottie (oncologist) and Buie (surgeon) arm wrestled and Buie won. Weather looks good enough to go for the summit bid on Ama Dabum and after I recover from the climb (approx 5-7 weeks) we will plan for an Annaperlung Expedition.
When on a cancer journey, strap yourself in for the rollercoaster ride of your life! Its been exactly one year since my diagnosis…Initially planned for just 3 rounds of chemo, surgery, and surgery, but as anyone knows the journey through an illness or even life, it doesn’t usually go as planned. So a year later, the colorectal tumor has shrunk in half +, the lymph nodes surrounding have also shrunk, but it looks as though my alien bum tumor had some babies in my lungs. There are 3 posts in the right lobe and 1 on the left. They are small but have changed, a bit bigger. Lung tumors are usually slow growing so they want to tackle the bum baby first, then possibly chemo or another treatment on lungs after. Fuck!
**Swearing** comes from a different learning sector of the brain, when stroke patients aren’t able to talk, they can actually sometimes still swear. They have proven swearing increases your pain tolerance. ~ Cool research and it’s how I let out my emotions;)
How one takes this news and digests it?
Oh shit balls! I write this hearing the news of my scans just today (Thursday Jan 10th) via tele. I write it when it’s still raw to share in the process of this journey, without any edits.
We all live our lives knowing that one day we are going to die. When you are given the news that it could be shortened, HOLY SHIT enters my mind. So much life to live and things I want to see and do, mountains I want to climb, movies I want to make, people I want to spend more time with and the reality of the MOST important things in life are VERY VERY clear.
I remember the day I heard the news about our beautiful and amazing Carlyle who wasn’t coming back from South America, that she had been killed in a climbing accident. I was in a part of my meditation program where I was able to sit in the shock from the news and then stand back to observe what my emotions were about to do. What feelings came up and what they meant. Yes, losing someone close to you or even a stranger you read about in the news, always brings rise to the impermanence of our lives and how fragile we really are. What also came up for me was not being able to see her again. How the end of life seemed so permanent, empty. But I would have moments of just feeling her in my heart, and then felt a sense of peace.
I know I have the tools to fight this battle. I am gearing up for the big fight with a 5-6 hour surgery that will take out the mother fucker alien. They will also have to pull chunks of my colon, small intestine and possibly my uterus where it has attached to (did you know that once parts of your body are removed in surgery the hospital owns it, sometimes for study and research) Like I’d want to take it home.
Reconnecting the dots, they hope the tissue is strong enough so that I can have a working bum, but if it needs a break, they will give me an ostomy or colostomy bag for temp until healed then reattached in 4-6 months. If they don’t think it will be strong enough, I will live with a bag. Not a bad trade off for having a life.
So, finally I’m in the planning stages for the summit bid of Ama DaBum! We will watch the weather and it looks good over the next week or so. I will get a call for the planned date. We will then pack up and go for the top of the mountain!! While I wait, I will prep my body with exercise, good food, and no stress. Over the next week or so, I will be quarantined a bit as not to catch anything. I am both excited and nervous, but feeling very strong and good to go!!! Thank you Sherpa support team!! LETS DO THIS!! xxoo