Well, here's the news…
I got the pathology results back from the section of bowel and surrounding tissue that was removed during surgery, and NONE of the 20 lymph nodes OR blood vessels tested positive for cancer. Whoot! The type of cancer that was present in my bowel was adenocarcinoma, poorly differentiated, which means it was an aggressive form of the disease. But, as far as everyone can tell, it looks it was all removed and that I am in the clear! I am being sent to the Cancer Clinic for a second opinion but it looks like no further treatments are likely to be required. So, other than yearly checkups, I should be good.
I've been trying to type those words out for over a week now but nothing would come out. Just a blank face staring at a blank screen.
I am SUPER happy that I am cancer free and no longer have to deal with the stress associated with a serious illness. At the same time though, I am finding myself in a really weird state. Almost like a sort of shock. Now that the intense focus I had on curing myself of cancer is gone, I find myself in a state of, well, now what? Having cancer really changes everything, and I know I can't go back to doing things in the unhealthy ways that I was before. So, I find myself asking: what does life look like moving forward? What do I want life to look like now? I realized I didn't have a lot of time to think about that stuff for the past 5 months because I was so focused on getting better.
I've also found myself incredibly emotional this past week or so, needing to withdraw and be alone as I let everything sink in. I've been spending a lot of time doing what I love most when I need some time to think and that's being in the woods or in nature. While away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, my mind seems to open up allowing my inner truths come out with greater clarity.
As far as my body goes, I am over the moon impressed with how well I am recovering. The newly stretched section of my bowl is feeling much better, and pain and discomfort I was experiencing when I had to use the bathroom is pretty much gone. Both the surgeon and my pre-op nurse assured me that I would not feel like hiking for at least 6-8 weeks post surgery but by the end of week three I was hiking one of the more strenuous trails around. I will say that I AM taking it easy though and making sure not to push my body beyond it's limits (hiking much slower than usual and covering less ground than my mind would like). I am also still restricted in how much I can lift. Every day I see improvements though and thank my body for how well it's doing.
So, as I move forward and figure out what's next for me, I really want to extend my appreciation to everyone who followed and supported me on this journey from cancer to health. I am also forever grateful for having the opportunity to do some healing at Kokolulu Farm & Cancer Retreat in Hawaii. Although I may not have cured the cancer during my short time there, I did make VAST improvements to my physical and mental well being which I believe went a long way to helping me to face and recover from surgery. I also learned valuable tools which I will be able to continue to use with me as I experience my future.
Thank you for following me on my journey through life,
Peace & Love,