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Shouldn't I feel happier?

The number of “how are you doing” texts I’ve gotten in the past few days suggests I’m overdue for an update.

I don’t love updating when I’m not feeling good. I’d rather wait until I can turn the corner and be positive about it.

But, we are now two weeks out from my first liver resection surgery, and I’m ready to admit: it kicked my ass.

It’s actually funny to see that in writing. Has it only been two weeks? I should probably give myself some slack. And by slack I do not (necessarily) mean permission to stay in cozy PJs and drink chocolate milk and pull the covers over my head and stay this way until approximately mid-October when I will have to do this ALL OVER AGAIN.

I’ve loved my surgeons, but I’m starting to recognize a pattern of minimizing incisions. This time, he gestured a small “L” on my abdomen and said it would be shaped like a hockey stick. I’m here to tell you: it’s no small L. It starts right between my cleavage, goes to just above my belly button and then turns and cuts down, running all the way to the side of my waist above my hip. I’ll have mercy on you all and won’t post a pic, but honestly I feel like a zip-up onesie.

Let’s focus for a second on the good stuff: the surgery was successful. Notably, the key thing they wanted to do was burn out the tumor that was very close to a vein they needed to preserve to make my next surgery viable - and they were able to do that.

The pathology on the tumors came back, and that looked good, too: 95.5% dead. Not a complete pathological response, but pretty darn good - especially since the tumor sizes had not decreased since December, and we had no way of knowing if the chemo worked.

It did.

So I should be cheering, elated! But I am just so tired. Post surgery, I lost my appetite and a bunch of weight along with it. I know I should be walking, but it’s significantly harder to motivate myself to do that when I need to rest every few steps. The twins’ dad comes to pick them up today and watches, semi-alarmed, as I lose my breath standing and trying to direct them to the door. “How ya feeling?” he asks, already knowing the answer.

I gave myself a few days off this week, to stay in my PJs and drink chocolate milk. But tomorrow I’ll be getting up and going to therapy, and I made a walk / lunch date with a friend I love. I’ll try to do it again the next day and the day after that.

This weekend is Lolla, which is bittersweet for me: last summer, it turned out to be the last thing we would do as a whole family before ALL THIS. It feels important to return, to prove that I’m still here, that we still can. I’m not sure how realistic that is. But Per says he’ll look into getting me a wheelchair if I feel up to it. I hope they have chocolate milk.

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