Aug 07, 2012 - 12:31 pm
I want to preface my post by saying, as I have before, that I’m sensitive to the pain and anguish so many on this board are going through, and I’m fully aware of how incredibly lucky I am to have been diagnosed early and treated successfully…so far, at least.
But I wanted today to share a very positive experience I had last weekend, and hopefully provide some good news and some encouragement to those who are surgical candidates. I was diagnosed 1 year ago last Friday with early Stage 1 EC, I had an MIE performed by Dr. Chris Morse at Massachusetts General Hospital, and I’m fortunate to be able to say that my recovery has been a little bumpy but overall not too difficult, and life is good. I eat literally everything I used to eat, just more often and not as much. I sleep on a wedge pillow with another pillow on top, but I don’t mind that. I don’t seem to be able to sleep more than 4 or 5 hours at a stretch, but I can deal with that. I was told last week that I have gall stones (not uncommon for folks who have had significant, sudden weight loss, I’ve learned) and I’ll have to have my gall bladder out, but I can deal with that, too.
But my big news is that last weekend I rode my bicycle 171 miles over 2 days, with 11+ hours in the saddle in the Pan Mass Challenge, a fundraising event for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Among the 5,500+ riders, I was one of 300 survivors who rode this year. I rode the PMC in 2010, before I knew I had cancer, and one of my goals this year was to prove to myself that I could still do it. And I did! There were rest stops along the way and I was sure to eat at every one, and I had sports snacks on the bike with me so I could eat something at least every hour, and still I lost weight over the weekend. But I was able to ride 111 miles on Saturday and another 60 on Sunday, and today, 10½ months after my surgery I really feel like I’m back.
I know that not everyone who has surgery will recover the same, but I also hope that folks facing EC surgery in the future can see from my case that there is light at the end of many of our tunnels and the ramifications of the surgery often aren’t that bad. Yes, some folks struggle more than others, and some don’t survive even with the surgery. But with a good medical team, a good and loving caregiver at home, a good patient(!) and a little luck, it’s possible to get back almost to where you were before the beast reared its ugly head.
God bless all of us, and