Today was my day to visit the surgeon’s office. Andrea, their uber nurse, was waiting to remove the 18 staples from my belly. Yeah, this hurts a little.
I was much more interested in a re-read of my pathology. My memories from the hospital are hazy at best.
My tumor was 4.5 cm in diameter and the cancer was well contained within the mass. Additional material was removed until the margin contained no cancer cells. The cancer had invaded the duodenum, removed in my Whipple as a matter of course.
Sixteen lymph nodes were removed and tested. One was positive for cancer.
“So right now,” I asked, “if you went back in I’d be visibly cancer free?”
Alas, pancreatic cancer isn’t that easy. That one lymph node means chemo and possibly radiation. I remember the oncologist saying it would probably be a short protocol, but reality trumps all.
There are undoubtedly microcells hiding somewhere. They’re too small to see. They’re patient.
Truth is, I’ll probably never be cured of cancer. My desire is to remain vigilant and aggressive.
On the Facebook’s Whipple Warriors board there is an oft used acronym: NEGU. Never Ever Give Up.