On our cross-country trip home, I got plenty of sleep in the car, but it was irregular and often interrupted by whatever was happening. Shannon on the other hand had minimal sleep altogether. Also battling the time zone change, we didn’t feel too bad about sleeping through to the middle of the day yesterday. Soon after, I had a brief talk with Dr. O’Keefe over the phone about my up-coming surgery. I learned that the surgery is being planned for Friday morning and they will be removing my right leg up to the socket in my pelvis leaving me looking like the picture below.
When I learned that I had cancer, I saw myself as the “classic” patient: bed ridden, feeling sick and nauseated, no hair, and only semi-conscious. I imagined extreme pain and discomfort that would test my will. I’m not sure where these images came from, but that has not at all been my experience (yet?). Rather, my experience has been a long chain of bad news and emotional battles that over time have pushed me closer and closer to my breaking point. I have now been through three surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and several emotional CAT/PET scans and watched my cancer continue to progress. This has tested my limits, but not broken me. I had long viewed amputation as that breaking point, and now here it is! Apparently when pushed in small increments we are able to expand our emotional will. I no longer see amputation as a catalyst for misery and depression, but as a resolution to my pain and discomfort…hopefully I will feel the same way after surgery. However, I must admit, my emotions are taking hold of me and I feel more easily angry, agitated, defensive, and overall uneasy as I am pushed closer and closer to my breaking point. I don’t know how much more I can take? What’s next? For now, I am hoping for clear scans aside from my right leg and a quick and strong recovery.
To clear my head, Shannon and I began the series, Long Way Round, about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boormen’s motorcycle trip around the world. It was an excellent series that kept us both captivated, but I have to admit, I felt sad at times thinking that my motorcycle days are over.