October and November 2016 need to be voted off the island.
October 6th marked one year since my liver resection and the day I sent walking papers to some terrible side effects of cancer. Therefore, October 6th should’ve been a day of celebration, but instead, I found myself doubled over in the ER where a CT scan revealed a small bowel obstruction. Apparently, the body doesn’t like open spaces and the absence of a liver in the upper right quadrant of my abdomen caused my small intestine to tangle up in that open space. Is it a little messed up that we were excited it wasn’t cancer related even though I would still need surgery to correct the obstruction? Yes, it is.
A week in the hospital, without any food and an uncomfortable tube up my nose, doctors finally got me on the schedule for surgery. Maybe it was the hunger or the morphine, but the days before and after surgery are blurry. A long 16 days later, I was discharged from the hospital. Home never felt so good.
Days later, my 12-year-old German Shepherd, Bear, could not walk. As if we didn’t have enough cancer in our life, Bear was diagnosed with lymphoma a couple months earlier. We took him to the emergency vet for them to tell us there was nothing more they could do. Not ready to make a quick decision, we took him home with pain meds to see if he would improve. He didn’t and the next day, he was put to sleep. It was heartbreaking.
And then there was the election. It’s no secret, I strongly supported Hillary Clinton. I know we’re all sick of election talk, but let me speak from the perspective of someone who deals with chronic illness. I am concerned about two programs. First, the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare). I am so fortunate to have excellent health insurance through my husband’s employer. But, the repealing of ACA could mean the reinstatement of policy lifetime maximums, which wouldn’t be an issue for me at the moment, but most definitely would during my lifetime, when you add up the $18,000 injection I receive each month. And while I don’t expect my husband to lose or change jobs anytime soon, the thought of being denying coverage based on pre-existing condition, well, that would be a terrifying scenario. And second, I’m concerned about the Cancer Moonshot initiative. If you’re not familiar, Joe Biden is leading the charge on the use of government funds to make leaps and bounds in cancer research, treatment and cures. Will that funding go away to build some stupid wall or give tax breaks to billionaires? Ok, stepping off the soap box.
BUT, as usual, I stay positive. I decided a long time ago that I am unbreakable and these hiccups and hurdles are certainly not enough to change that. The last couple months are yet another reminder of life’s impermanence and that we should be immeasurably grateful for when things are going our way.
As for writing, I’m back at it and have some upcoming pieces I’m really excited about and will be sharing soon.
As always, thank you for your support, prayers, good vibes and for reading.