March 3, 2021

I know I’ve flown the coop but I’m back!

First things first: I’ve been hard at work on my project AND I FINISHED IT!!! Major accomplishment and I AM THRILLED!!! This was not a work related project (boring). This was something very important to me. I created something.

Now I have two more projects in store – passion projects. And guess what? I can do them because I’M NOT HAVING SURGERY!!! Fantastic.

I met with the surgeon yesterday and my oncologist. The surgeon said that he would do more harm than good if he operated because the tumor is so intertwined with my organs; it is attached to the pelvic wall; and they cannot get all of the tumor out. It is a very complex surgery and, at the end of it, I will still have the primary tumor (as well as the metastatic sites in the lungs/liver) – so surgery is not recommended.

If the tumor grows and I have problems in the future then – even then – surgery would not necessarily be the first choice because of what’s going on down there. Radiation might be the first choice.

In addition, I am entirely asymptomatic and the cancer is responding extremely well to the chemo/systemic treatment. Surgery would be a setback because they’d have to take me off the systemic treatment for a period of time.

They are taking me off chemo after one more session and putting me on targeted drug therapy. I’ll also be getting a new scan this month. They said that they are watching me very closely.

They were very honest with me. Nothing more important than that.

So, this spring, I will be planting my blue Forget Me Nots and working on my first passion project! Then, this summer, I will be working on my second. I am very, very excited.

I also saw a stoma nurse yesterday for the first time since last July. She took one look at my stoma and said, “Oh, that’s an outy!” She was shocked. To which I replied, “Does it stick out more than average?” and she said, “Yes.”

I KNEW IT!!! I am so mad. I knew that the prior surgeon (different hospital) gave me a stoma that projected inappropriately. I told him I like to dress cute in slim pants and small tee’s like Audrey Hepburn which may sound absolutely ridiculous given the fact that I have inoperable stage 4 cancer – and the stoma works well – but I am still alive and part of my identity is how I look/dress. I feel good in a cute outfit even if I look like a ragamuffin (which I often do in a little dress, tights, fury winter boots, and a long scarf) but I still look cute! You have to hang onto yourself – you just have to. I used to have a perfectly flat stomach and I wouldn’t mind a small, cute stoma but now I have this masculine looking one and that side of my stomach now sticks out which the nurse said was likely a hernia which often occurs with a stoma. So now I look bad – at least I should be able to dress cute – but the stoma pushes all of my clothes out so I just walk around with a bulge.

I wouldn’t care too cents if it was unavoidable – then I’d say – that’s life. No big deal. That’s what I say when I lay in bed day after day sick as a dog with the chemo. But this was avoidable. I had no power. Someone else had the power. I told that person very clearly who I am and what is important to me. Now, maybe – maybe – there was a medical reason for my getting this type of stoma. Then I’m fine with it. But based on what I know there was not. So I’m upset. I had stopped thinking about this but yesterday brought it all back up.

I need to move on again and I will …

So I baked some blueberry muffins yesterday at 4:30 a.m. and left for the hospital at 5:30 a.m. The muffins were good but today (1st day post-chemo now on the pump) their smell kind of makes me sick – the sweetness. So I’m going to start making corn muffins which I love and are not quite as sweet. I seem to really need bland. I made biscotti the other day too – they taste wonderful but I cut them a bit too thick so I’ll be working on getting them down right. This morning I made popovers but I’ve stopped buying milk so I used my buttermilk powder and THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE! I make excellent popovers and, let me tell you, these were not even popovers. They tasted OK but they absolutely need milk.

That’s the thing with me and baking – baking is very precise and I like to relax, enjoy, experiment so I get a lot of failures but I don’t mind because I’m learning. I just don’t like to waste ingredients (aka money) so I don’t stray too far that often but I do give myself latitude for less than perfect results.

OK – that’s it for now.

See you later!

Love, Molly

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