In my prior post (https://braincancerbabe.com/2016/06/22/the-dreaded-word-recurrence/ ) I wrote about my suspected recurrence. Well, that was confirmed in June 2015. I say “confirmed” recurrence, although whether the lesion was indeed “cancer” can only be truly confirmed with the pathology report following surgery and removal of the lesion… but you get what I’m saying.
It is strange that I do not remember much about when I was told I would have to undergo yet another brain surgery. Everything about Round 1 continues to be so clear in my head: the initial diagnosis, the first surgery, treatment, etc..
This time around, I again met with my neurosurgeon in preparation for the surgery. He was comforting in saying that the lesion was very “superficial” and remained very distinct. The only way I can describe it is that the lesion hadn’t spread out like tentacles into other surrounding areas. It would be a more simple surgery to just go in and cut it right out. Okay. That sounded promising.
I also clearly remember the phone call when my neurosurgeon’s nurse gave me the date of the surgery. It was less than a week from the time my oncologist had confirmed that the lesion was indeed growing, indicating the recurrence. However, I don’t really recall the emotions I felt, or any of the preparation leading up to the second surgery. Maybe I’ve blocked it out subconsciously, or it is just part of my memory I’ve lost due to the trauma to my brain. Maybe it’s both.
Furthermore, I didn’t have much time to think about the second surgery. It was scheduled so quickly, thankfully. I just wanted it done and over with – move on!
I do recall sitting back on the days leading up to the surgery and thinking, “Is this really happening again? Another surgery? Wasn’t one brain surgery enough?” However, my doctors were confident that since I had come out of the first surgery so well, and had basically returned to my normal life, I would come out of the second one just as well. That was a pretty reassuring thought, honestly.
From what I remember (and again, maybe I’ve just blocked it all out), I handled the situation pretty well. One theory that has stayed with me is that my worst fear had come true – the cancer had come back. So, if I got through this okay, I would have conquered that immense mental and physical battle.
All of my family and friends were blown away. They were so frightened, but all I kept saying was, “I’ll be okay.” I meant it too. I had so much confidence in my medical team. I knew what to expect this time. Funny enough, it was the minor things that I knew were coming while I would be admitted in the hospital that I dreaded. I hated the idea of the daily shots in my stomach to prevent blood clots. I would be undergoing brain surgery, yet that’s what bothered me about the future hospital stay! I also despised the gauze bandage turban they had wrapped around my head after the first surgery to reduce the swelling. The thought of that turban actually made me angry. I don’t know – maybe it was mind’s way of protecting me from the truly frightening consequences.
So, June 30, 2015 came along and I was once again reporting for duty – “Good morning. I’m having surgery today.” Again.