I blinked awake in the recovery room to someone asking me if I was all right. They were really close to my face. I recoiled a bit and quickly regretted the movement and asked for water. All they kept giving me were these weird little swabs, dipped in water, so I was still sucking down water, but minimally.
I had a button shoved into my hand and told to press if I had pain. I pressed that fucker a billion times. Unfortunately, it only worked every 6 minutes or so. I blinked in and out of consciousness, kept waking and asking for water, and finally when I was awake for more than a few minutes, still pressing that button, I asked if they could get my parents. They said in a few minutes and I said, no soon please. My dad works third shift and it's 2:30pm! I was supposed to wake up around 10am! He needs to go home and get some sleep.
The nurses told me sure, okay. Your room is ready for you, now, too. So they went and got my parents. I smiled at them to let them know I was okay, but my mom was bawling.
Mom? Why are you crying?
-Oh, no reason. I just hate seeing you like this.
Dad? Why is mom crying?!
-It's been emotional today, Tiffy.
My parents are such bad liars.
Dad tells me they're gonna get Ryan, my brother. What? Why is my brother here? He has a newborn! He should be at home! Ryan will meet us in your room when you're taken there.
I don't remember being wheeled to my room. I do remember waking up and my surgeon was there. He was holding my right hand and sitting on my right side and explaining things to me. He just kept saying, I'm so sorry. I'm so so sorry. We didn't expect this at all.
We removed the tumor and a section of your colon. Unfortunately, it spread to your liver. Your liver is completely coated in little nodules, which we're biopsying. But, that kind of spread is Stage IV. It's incurable. Treatable, but incurable. I'm so so sorry, young lady. So sorry.
Is a liver transplant feasible?
No, not in this case because it metastasized and then you'll have the issues of rejection, etc.
Thanks, doctor. I'm tired. I'll talk later.
Okay. I'm so so SO sorry. *pat pat pat*
Mom is bawling and wailing in the corner on my left. My brother is tearful and at the foot of my bed. My dad has taken the surgeon's position on the right and is talking to me. I decide to ignore my wailing mother, my tearful brother, and focus on my dad.
Your surgeon said 3-5 years is the expectation, kid. We'll do chemo, we'll be aggressive, and we'll kick butt, okay?
Dad. Did that man just tell me I'm dying?
DAD. DID THAT MAN JUST SAY I AM DYING?
Well, yes. But, we're all dying technically kid. So what are you gonna do about it?
Okay. I just had to know. I'm tired now. I'll tell cancer to go fuck itself later.
And I fall asleep again. I wake and they're all there...I must only be passing out a few minutes at a time, smashing my button as often as I can, hoping to hear the musical bliss that is my IV drip.
My mom is telling me that when I die, she won't be far behind and will come with me. I said, what the fuck. My brother said, MOTHER She doesn't need to hear that drama shit right now! COME ON. And dad! Why did you tell her she's dying?! My dad replies, because she was looking for someone to tell her straight and true. And it's true...we're all dying.
I tell them all to go home. All I'm gonna do is push my IV pain med button and sleep. Love you guys. Don't worry so; cancer doesn't know who it's fucking with.
Stage IV? Pffft. My grandmother had all kinds of cancer and kept hers in remission for 25 years or so. No reason I can't be that 3% who survive 20 years or MORE. Like grandmother, like granddaughter.