What I'll Do On My Summer Vacation
by Lesley Maloney
Remember that BFD surgery I was scheduled for? It's tomorrow. Thought I should let you know. Big day. Big surgery. Am I scared? No. That's probably weird. Honestly, it's been the most common question people have been asking. I think I'm wired wrong. I seem to be the only one not scared. "If I were you, I'd be terrified" - yes, someone actually said that. Thank you. Oh and while we're on the subject of weird things to say to cancer patients...please don't tell me to cancel my surgery and just use essential oils instead. That happened too. I'm not kidding. Thanks, but no thanks.
I'm not scared to have this surgery, I'm annoyed. I feel freaking great. I've been working out and playing with my kids without being exhausted. I've built up my alcohol tolerance again - It was pretty low there for a while. This surgery will change my life and being in recovery this summer will start me out fresh...again. And for that, I am annoyed.
You're going to read through this and say, "but Lesley, you never told us what the surgery is." That's right. There's a couple reasons for that. The biggest is that the docs don't really know what they're going to do. Weird, right? Worst case scenario is pretty crazy and best case scenario is still serious, just less crazy. They won't know exactly what they're dealing with until they cut me open. Someday I'll share the details, but today is not that day. I'm mentally prepared for the worst case scenario. I'm fine with it. And I think that freaks people out. But I'm not the kind of person that sits around feeling sorry for myself. What a waste of time. It's going to be tough to get through and I know that. But, shoot, life is an adventure. This is the life I've been given and I'm going to live it the best and most fun way I can. If you've been around me in the last few weeks, you know I've been joking about some pretty serious stuff. I'm happy to be surrounded by people that can laugh with me. Boy does that make things easier...and more fun.
What happened to that second opinion? A few weeks ago I got a call from my doc at Sloan Kettering. She said she had good news and after reviewing everything I sent, there was a surgeon in NYC that thought he could do a less radical surgery than what Roswell wanted to do. Cool! I booked a flight that night for the following week. The morning I was set to leave, I got notice that my flight was cancelled. Awesome. I'll skip the details, but I ended up renting a car and driving down to NYC by myself - just hours after my flight was cancelled. Fortunately, my big brother was there for business so he met me and we want to my appointment at MSK together the following day. Unfortunately after being examined by the doc, he ended up recommending the same surgery as Roswell. That was a bit of a bummer, but I'd rather have surgery in my hometown anyway so it wasn't terrible news. Plus this makes them 2 for 2 with agreeing with Roswell's plans for treatment.
Side note: For those of you that have negative things to say about Roswell...I'm going to repeat that...This was the SECOND time Sloan Kettering agreed with the treatment plan that Roswell suggested. Let's add that to the list of things to keep to yourself: If you have negative things to say about the place that is working on saving my life...keep it quiet. Thanks. Yes, that makes me cranky.
Once I got back to Buffalo, I set up all may appointments at Roswell to prep for surgery. Lots of appointments, paperwork, and question & answer sessions later and we're ready.
12 hours from now I'll be on the operating table.
If you know me, you know I don't like to ask for help or accept help. That's super hard for me. But I've promised to be better with that. So this is a blanket thank you in advance. Thanks to those that have offered to help with the kids, and make us food, and clean, and all the other things you do for sick people. I've said it a million times that I have the best support system in the world. I appreciate every little bit. Thank you.
I promise to update when I can after the surgery. Hopefully for entertainment sake it'll be when I'm all doped up.
The best part of all of this craziness? When the surgery is over, there's a damn good chance I'll be cancer free. And you know what that means?!?!?! We PARTY!!!! I mean...it'll be a bit before I'm fully recovered, but you can bet your bottom dollar that we'll celebrate!
Photo cred: Ben Richey, Roswell Park
Second Opinion Trip Take II
My Livestrong Coaches that helped me get back to kicking butt!
Last day at work for a few months. Lucky to have super supportive coworkers who double as amazing friends!