#sharestrength – 6 Months After Surgery

I’ve been anticipating for this date: 26 July 2016. I can’t believe I pretty much forgot about it today because I was so distracted by my chemotherapy side effects! Anyway, I hit my 6-month mark post-colectomy surgery today! *pops confetti and champagne*

Going through chemotherapy made it felt like eons have passed since this Big-C adventure started. But looking back at the surgery, I’m feeling like “half a year already?” Clearly, the experience with the surgery and chemotherapy is very different.

This date 6 months ago, I was wheeled into an operating theater to be cut open alive. I came out very alive about 4 hours later shivering like fish out of water because it was crazy cold. Days that followed after that were difficult but the gratitude of coming home for Chinese New Year made it worthwhile. Little did I know that my 6-week break from work would be prolonged to bouts of week-long medical leaves every fortnight for the next 6 months (and still counting).

In the past 6 months, my surgeon kept telling me not to exert myself physically partly because of the surgery and partly because of chemotherapy. My lazy self adhered to half the advice while my invincible self thought I could take baby steps. I started with qi gong, then nature walks and stopped at my first hike at my 3-month mark because I injured myself.

I didn’t know then that I injured myself. Honestly, I felt a little pain on the left side of my abdomen, where I had the tumour removed, during the hike at Setia Alam. But it’s only 2 months later that I learned that the pain I have been having on the right side of my abdomen may have been caused by the little milestones I had when I hit 3 months; hiking, running up the stairs, wearing heels, carrying more weights, pooping too hard, etc.

So with that, I don’t get to celebrate my 6-month mark with higher intensity exercise and activity. In fact, I’m so afraid to move much now because I’d need to undergo surgery to fix whatever I tore at the right side of my abdomen if I injure it further. Boohoo. FYI, the pain is more manageable now that I know what it is…

Regardless, I’m still happy that my battle scar is 6-months-old now. It’s a pretty little imperfection that I am proud to show off actually. I think it healed very nicely; kudos to my surgeon!

colon colectomy open surgery scar
This is how the scar looks like at 6-month-old. The little bump next to my belly button is a stitch that did not dissolve. Ironically, I need to be cut and stitched up again if I want to remove that stitch. Nay.

A scar simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.

I always see this quote at UMSC. I think it fits this post just nice =)

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