I haven’t found the time or energy or will to update the blog in a while and thought I’d revisit. BoomBoom turns one in just over a week and I’m not exactly sure where the year went. I’ve heard that the first year with a new baby is a challenge. Throw cancer into that mix and, well, it’s something else entirely. It’s been a fuck of a year, friends. But I would do it all again – pain and all – if it meant spending more time with my daughter.
The cancer update: Since my last post, I’ve gone through a liver resection, where over 50% of my liver was removed along with my gall bladder. They were unable to get all of the cancer because if they cut it all out, my liver wouldn’t have been strong enough to survive as chemo wasn’t exactly kind to it. So the “worst” tumour was left in (worst due to it’s location close to a major artery). Less than two weeks after liver surgery, I went back into the hospital for another (extremely painful) surgical procedure where they stuck a probe into my liver and “microwaved” the tumour to kill the cancer. We won’t know if it was effective for a few more weeks. Luckily, chemo really really worked for me and out of the tumours that were taken out during surgery, 95% of the cancer had already died.
I’ve been in and out of hospital quite a bit with complications. The longest non-cancer-related stay was a week (bowel obstruction). Lots of time away from my baby, but she was in good hands and reunions were all the more amazing. I wasn’t able to pick her up for a month post-surgery, but just started a few days ago and I love that I’m able to do it again. The recovery has been rough. I have a very high pain tolerance and was barely able to deal with the pain, but I got through it like I have everything else this year. Still very sore.
The baby update: BoomBoom is amazing. She started walking in her last few days of her 9th month. She’s now RUNNING everywhere. She’s gone from 3 words to about 15 in just over a month. She’s such a joy to have around and the best distraction I could ever ask for. All three of us are home as a family every day (Dev is on leave and I’m on long-term disability). Although our financial situation isn’t fabulous, I would take this time together over money any day. In fact, I’m dreading having to start work again if I am cancer-free… I don’t know what that’s going to look like but it scares the living daylights out of me. So I’m not going to think about it yet.
It’s funny. I think about the things that would be different had cancer not come into the mix. I was initially going to wait until BoomBoom was one year before letting her sleep over at my mum’s. Since June she’s there for up to 4-day stretches and I (gasp) really appreciate these times without her. I never wanted to have to leave her with people, but she is able to go off quite happily with practically everyone (obviously we choose the people wisely!) and I think this year of independence has done her wonders. She has never once cried during our goodbyes and very rarely shows that she misses us (I trust my mum to tell the truth and the only time she’s shown signs of distress is when she’s under the weather). We have an extremely happy, extremely healthy kid. For that, I feel so blessed.
It’s funny, on Facebook today I saw a friend post a link to a fundraising page for a family whose newborn had just been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. Reading through the story, I realized how lucky I am to have a healthy child. I would 100 times over choose to be the one that is sick, not my baby. I can deal with the pain and the fear of dying. I wouldn’t want my child to have to deal with that. I think that would kill me.
Alrighty… baby has just woken up from her nap, so I must go, but I have to say, it feels great to be writing again. Hopefully I won’t be a stranger going forward!