Posted in True Story, Inspirational

The Dreaded “C” Word (Part 8)

cancer

I got the same nurse Lyn Lee at CCU.  She was rather surprised to see me again.  But this time around the vomiting was very minimal. The doctor explained that they removed the rest of the thyroid, parathyroid and few lymph nodes and has been sent to the pathology for testing. I was recovering quite well.  It was day four.  The doctor walked in looking chuffed.  He was very happy.  The results were back and the cancer thankfully had not spread anywhere.  So, I think we got to it before it spread anywhere.  I am one lucky girl.

 

i beat cancer

This was the best outcome we could have had.  Still I had to go through more tests to make sure that it was not popping up anywhere else.  But for the moment it was GREAT news.

We had a chat to the boys and mum and explained what has been happening for the last couple of years.  And that I am now cancer free.  Mum was over the moon.  Hari was quiet for a moment and then he said, “mum is only 5ft tall but she is tough, she will be fine”.  Arj went quiet.  Afterwards, he said almost tearful “mum, some say that they have got rid of cancer, but it comes back after five years or so, will that come back for you too, what if it comes back?” I explained that yes it could come back.  Once you get cancer, there is no guarantee that it won’t come back again.

I went on to explain further, yes, I have escaped cancer now, but I could get hit by a car around the corner and die too.  In life there are no guarantees.  But just because there are uncertainties in life we don’t stop living.  If I get the cancer again, I just have to pick up where I left off the first time and this time I have some experience.  Arj was happy with that answer.

I had to go for monthly tests and then they became less frequent, 3 monthly, 6 monthly and now only annually. I still had to go for the annual endoscopy and colonoscopy because of a little inflammation/cyst of some sort near in the intestines.  Once again my fitness level had dipped. So I met Damien my personal trainer again.  He was excellent. For me it’s not just about losing weight to look pretty.  It is more to do with being able to move my body and use my body effectively.  To feel fit and healthy.  And that is exactly what Damien is all about.  Especially when you are after an injury or surgery, it is paramount that you are careful and that you don’t make things worse.

Hari got selected to enter University of NSW.  I was so proud of him.  He worked damn hard to get there.  From a very young age he was determined to become a Robotics Engineer and now he is at the door steps of his dream.  We were looking for accommodation etc for him in Sydney.  I decided that I will accompany him to show him the ropes and help him settle in.  For the rest of the world he is an adult.  But for me the mother he is still my baby. I am going to miss my baby, but I am going to hide those tears so he can achieve his dreams.

We were busy buying and organising things for his new apartment when I received a call from my Gastrointestinal Surgeon. He wanted to see me when I returned to Adelaide.   I had a feeling that this was for another surgery.  He wouldn’t be calling to say that I’ve won a million dollars now would he, it’s more like “I am running low on cash, can I open you up?” Yep, the small inflammation/cyst thing had suddenly grown into a massive lump.  This was sitting on the junction of the intestine/ oesophagus.  Being on that junction it was like on the corner of an S bend, was going to be a tricky operation.  And essentially Dr. Bessell was trying to avoid opening me up fully as that would be a rather big surgery.  His team of doctors believed they could do a laparoscopic surgery.  This would mean easier recovery etc.  He explained that they will try their hardest to do it that way, but sometimes they might have to change course and open me up.

My friend Sally worked in this hospital as a nurse and she came to see me before I was wheeled in.  Wish she was there to see my reaction, when I woke up. I woke up to find that I was opened from top to toe.  I stroked my stomach area to see where the laparoscopic holes were.  But I felt my whole chest feel really heavy and then yes, a big cut from the top of the rib cage up to the belly button.  They’ve cut me up like I was a piece of fish, gutted and filleted, okay maybe not filleted.

This was by far the worst of the surgeries.  As the oesophagus is in the back (inside the rib cage) behind heart and other organs.  So it’s similar to a bypass surgery where they have to open the rib cage up to get to this spot. The lump was benign after all that.  But I guess considering the size of the lump and my history they couldn’t take a chance and leave it there.

Recovery was slow, but steady.  I was in a lot of pain though.  By this time we had a new addition to the family.  Galileo our little pugalier pup.  We called him Leo for short.  Leo was a major part of my recovery.  Once everyone is off to school and work, it was just me, Leo and the TV.  He knew, he could sense it, that I was in a lot of pain.  He followed me everywhere and slept on the edge of my foot.  Keeping watch and keeping company.

In time I was now back to normal.  However, with these repeated surgeries, my body had taken beating.  Also a few months after this surgery I also managed to break my ribs a couple of times.  I felt like an old woman.  Walk was very slow.  My back hurt, my shoulder hurt and I had gained weight.  I was still my positive self, happy and chirpy. Everyone around me was happy to give the excuse that I have been through a lot and carrying a bit weight was the least of my worries.  They were not wrong, and I was happy to accept the same.

However, I was now convinced that I had to meet Damien again. If I am going to live, I am going to live well I thought.  I wanted to be able to everything I did when I was 21. I had cancelled my gym membership by this stage as the gym was not willing to put a stop on the payments when I go in for the surgeries.  I had whole heap gym equipment at home.  But I was worried again, if I was safe to use them.  Damien had left the gym.  But I managed to track him down.  He had opened his own gym.  A small boutique gym.  I started with him just on single personal lessons.  Back to Square one, or more like go backwards after each surgery.  One step forward and two steps backwards I thought.  Still I was prepared for the hard work.  Slowly I got the confidence to join his group class.  First class was just pure murder. But slowly I could feel my fitness improve, lose weight and feel great. I am probably still one of the weakest members, in the group. But it doesn’t matter.  I am not holding the gauge against the others, this gauge is a personal gauge.  The race is mine, and I am still winning the race.

18th September 2015.  With Damien’s encouragement I decided to take part in the City to Bay fun run.  As the day grew closer I felt very emotional.  Just an year ago I couldn’t walk 1k, now I am preparing to run 6k.  I wasn’t sure if I could really do it.  But I was going to try. I was going to give it a real go.

city to bay

I was very emotional that day.  When I saw the finish line, I realised this was really a start line or could say restart line.  My life starts again.

 

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Author:

I am a beginner to all this blogging. Recently found a passion for writing. Not sure if I am a good enough writer to publish a REAL book. I am probably using this as a testing platform to see if I attract enough interest. I was born in Sri Lanka, now for the last 26 years living in Australia. So am I a Sri Lankan or Australian, it changes time to time. Lets say I am not ashamed to say I am a Sri Lankan but I think my affections lie with Australia. I am a cancer survivor, marriage survivor, war (civil war) survivor and what ever else the world/destiny has thrown at me. So my blog I guess would be about all those things. Humour is Huge for me, fairness is huge for me, I question everything religion, cultural beliefs, Political decisions. So watch out for some some fireworks laced with humour.

22 thoughts on “The Dreaded “C” Word (Part 8)

    1. Thank you so much. For both the comments on my writing as for your heartfelt wishes for good health. Hopefully it helps at least one other person. Just like Nick was for me, started writing my next story, i lost a friend to the civil war in sri lanka. Hope i do justice to his memory

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, Uma. Beautiful post! I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through all of those surgeries and scares, but I am proud for you. I agree with your son: You are tough. You will be fine. Keep writing. Keep moving toward health and fitness and wholeness. I ditto RabbitPatchDiary’s sentiment. I, too, wish you a long and grand life. Best, Sara

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Acca i just read the story. The cancer is very dangerous word but the way you face it its remarkable. You have open my eyes . I sometime just complaint for small things. Hats off to you. Its a very i spiring story. Keep writing you are really good👍😇

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve been through so much! I know more people who lost the battle to cancer than people who defeated it. Your story is inspiring! I like the fact that you ran a 6k and when you finished, you considered it a “Start”. I’m a mere 3 years younger than you and try to run to feel young but most times, it is a reminder that I am getting older. lol The body gets older but the mind does not need to!

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  4. Such a beautiful post. Such a difficult journey. You are a fighter, you are a survivor, you are special, you are you. I loved reading it. I’m so sorry you had to go through it but you’ve come out stronger like a diamond in the rough. I have someone very close to me who is a cancer survivor too and I know how hard it must have been for you and your kids. I think you’ve it in you to write a REAL book. All the best for all the future endeavors. Being ready for all the hard balls life/destiny throws at us can be exhausting but seems like you take it like a champ. Inspirational.

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    1. Aw thank you so much for such a beautiful compliment. There are many who suffered more and braved more, but haven’t written it down as a story, my purpose of writing was tell who are currently going through something hard, to soldier on, there light at the end of the tunnel. We all know someone who had cancer or going through something horrible, so we can all relate to my story i guess

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  5. Wow..!! I loved every single bit of your story and you should definitely make it into a book. You have struggled a lot, maybe put those feelings into words with a little more depth. The turmoil that went inside of you can only be expressed by you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this, but your son is right, you are one tough lady by the sounds of things! It also sounds like you have some fantastic people around you encouraging and supporting you. I’m so impressed at how you have written about your “experience” (for want of a better word) with cancer, so calm and peaceful.
    I was diagnosed last year (March) with melanoma and although I was very lucky and they managed to remove it early, it was still hard to hear those words and every 3 months my heart races as I walk into the doctor’s room.
    Thank you for sharing this
    x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much for reading and commenting. Yes, many have to unfortunately hear that dreaded word. And that was the reason for writing. Hopefully it gives hope for another to fight another day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. it is truly amazing that such a small word can totally overwhelm you. cancer is an ugly disease and the fear and trepidation it brings to your life when the doctor gives you that diagnosis. you have fought the battle and won the war…………….congratulations. enjoy life, love and laughter and take special care to pat yourself on the back. never, never, never give up. we are all with you.

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