The surgery was all set, and it seemed complicated. The tumors in my chest region would be removed as would the lymph nodes. I know this is the first mention of the mass in my chest and that is because up until now it was not relevant. They described it to me and I told them I was clear and understood. In fact, I did not, I would not know the marks that would be left on me until I came out of a drug induced stupor after the surgery was complete.
The day before I talked to friends and family. I put on my big boy pants and wore a strong face. I had to go to Indiana University in Indianapolis for the surgery because they specialized in this type of procedure. My mother came with me and stayed the whole time. Even in my youth my mother was a beacon of strength and perseverance. I don't recall being nervous and anxious. It was probably due to the fact that it needed to be done.
I hadn't talked to my father in a few years at the time. I decided that I needed to reciprocate his calls asking me to reconnect with him. I started to think of both of our times left on Earth and I think he would hate to never know what happened to me and vice versa,
Then I had surgery I can only write about the time thereafter because I was knocked out for the surgery. Despite my insistence that I could take care of it.
I woke up in ICU, everything was a blurry, white hued haze. I had the breathing tube in and I felt like I was choking. I started to panic because I had no idea where I was or what happened to me. As the picture came into frame it started to make sense. I was strapped to the bed because I tried to escape in a drug fueled tantrum. Eventually I would be moved to my room and got my first glimpse of the scar, my battle would, on my chest. it went from my pelvis, up my stomach then around to the middle of my back. I looked like the victim of a shark attack.
I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and spent about a month recovering at home. I was on a heavy dose of pain killers because the scar hurt all the time. The most difficult battle I ever fought was over, I was cancer free. My hair grew back and now I have a badge of honor on my chest that will forever remind me that no matter what always keep fighting. I did then and I have ever since.
Tomorrow: How cancer changed me for the better.