Bag Lady

I met with my Oncologist today, hoping he could successfully scare me into surgery, though I didn’t tell him that at the start.
“What brings you here today?” He starts.
“I find myself rooting for cancer, hoping I still have it so that the permanent bag isn’t for nothing. No one should hope they have cancer.”

The doctor filled in all the holes in my understanding of treatment. If I don’t go through with surgery, there would be monitoring, but no additional treatment. Because of the scar tissue from radiation, if I had additional chemo it would attack any cancer throughout the body EXCEPT for the original site of the cancer/tumor. With a 99% chance the cancer will return to the original site, it’s important to have the surgery now. If/when the tumor/cancer returns, radiation will not be an option in the area because I’ve had my limit of radiation.

I got my genetic testing results back. I was tested for Lynch Syndrome, and I don’t have it. Because of this bit of good news, I don’t have to have my entire large intestines removed, and it’s possible I can cap the stoma site rather than wearing a bag. If I cap it, that means instead of a bag hanging from my stomach, I would give myself a daily enema (or two) and the rest of the time the stoma site would be capped off. I’d still have to deal with skin issues, but the concerns with sleep would be less, because I wouldn’t have to worry about rolling over onto the bag.

If I opted out of surgery and the cancer returns and spreads, it would be more likely that more of the intestines would need to be removed and I’d lose my chance to cap it and be stuck with the bag. I feel a lot better about the surgery now that I know the risks and possible outcomes of skipping surgery. My doctor put me in touch with another woman who recently had a colostomy and I think he said she uses a plug. She left me a message today letting me know she’s available to talk.

My mom took me out grocery shopping afterward. I picked up all the foods I probably won’t be able to eat much of after surgery, super dry foods like rice crackers and chips. I’m going to pig out until surgery and enjoy these foods without issue while I still can.

I’m still working through the bargaining phase. I can’t bargain with myself or any gods, so I’ve worked out my own form of bargaining. I’m making deals with the people around me. I guess it’s not technically how that phase normally works, but I’m not exactly normal. Mark has to write a book in the next five years. Tina has to take up a medium, practice it, and call herself an artist. My boss has to take the strengthsfinder test. What will you do? Think about it for a bit. In my next post I will be asking for serious pledges from all of you. Hold your pledges until then. I want you to really take some time and think of something you’ve always wanted to accomplish, but haven’t because you think you can’t.

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About Kamina Kapow

I have dimples and friends

3 responses to “Bag Lady”

  1. Holly Anderson says :

    I don’t know if you can count this as a pledge or not since I’ve already started it, but I never thought that I would be able to complete college and I am now in my 2nd quarter. So, my pledge to you is that no matter what, I will complete my associates degree. Every time I think I can’t do it or it is too hard, I will think of you and push myself even harder. And at the end, I will give you a huge hug and thank you because if you can get through what you’re going through, then I have no room for complaints or excuses. You will be my inspirtation!

  2. Amber Gregory says :

    I am going to REALLY think about this. But I am sure it will have something to do with photography.

  3. barrie says :

    Hi Kamina,
    This is a friend of Mary Ellen. I wanted to introduce myself. Bad timing I know. I have alot to say to you. I wish you comfort and a peace of “knowing” you’re going to be ok. I am so sorry that you are feeling and experiencing everything that you are.
    I wrote a VERy long response to you-but decided it might be overwhelming and that I would rather not “post” it. Maybe you have an email I could send it to you.
    You are an absolutely wonderful ball of intelligence, energy and grace through all your words of wisdom and inspiration regardless of your suffering.
    I’m sorry your suffering sweetheart…I’m very sorry. I believe that so much good will come of it. I feel moved by your words and calling out for personal belief and growth of your friends. I don’t even know you but through your words and Mary Ellen’s absolute adoration and affection for you- but I feel compelled to try to do something…a promose to my children that I will make good come from my own experience of suffering.
    Thank you Kamina, I look forward to meeting you when I come to visit-maybe hopefully this Fall with my children.
    God Bless You and Peacefullness to you heart, mind, body, soul and spirit.

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