Today is the last full day of my life that I will have my right leg. It’s weird to think of it like that. Not knowing anything else, it is hard to imagine what it will be like when it is gone. It’s also a unique experience to be able to point to a day in the near future and definitively say, “On this day my life will be changed forever.” It is not something that I have ever had before. The day you have your first child might be a similar epiphany, but I wouldn’t know about that yet.
It’s funny to me when we talk about the things I will and won’t be able to do from now on. I’ve been finding it funny because I think this is actually going to free me up to do more than I have been able to do in a long time. My calf hurts on a pretty constant basis and has for a while. The tumor presses the nerve bundle out of its way in my leg, causing a good amount of pain. Sometimes it is from activity, but it is just as likely to start hurting when I am lying down and not doing anything. There doesn’t really seem to be any rhyme or reason to what causes the pain sometimes. Whenever we discuss things that we aren’t sure if I will be able do or not, it is almost always an activity that I can not currently do because of my calf. It’s a bit ironic, but it almost helps going into this because it’s not like there are all sorts of things I am currently doing that are now going to have to be stopped, but rather the other way around. A lot of the things that I had to stop doing are now going to have a chance to reenter my life. And on top of that, we are completely removing the part of my body affected by the cancer. We continually pray that there are not any cancer cells that have spread anywhere else, and I will be doing 2 more rounds of chemo after the surgery for (as Dr. Rosen puts it) good luck. We want to make sure that we have done everything in our power to keep it from spreading, and while I’m definitely not looking forward to any more chemo, I’m not going to slack off now that we are down to the short strokes!
After the surgery I will be in the hospital for 2-4 days for pain management, and will then be released to come home to the apartment. I’ll be on crutches for 2 months while the swelling goes down and will then be fitted for a prosthesis back in Atlanta. I currently drive a stick shift car, so I’ll probably be car shopping around that time too. I’ll have to get a car that has the gas pedal flipped to the left side, so I will use my left foot to drive from now on. As Ashley has pointed out, it’s fortunate that I have always driven stick shifts because I am used to using my left foot when I drive and it shouldn’t be nearly as much of a transition as a result. I think she is right.
In the meantime, we have been taking full advantage of the active days I have left before the surgery. On Saturday one of my dad’s friends had tickets to go see John Mellencamp at Radio City Music Hall. Unfortunately they were unable to make it, but he was incredibly kind and offered the tickets to Ashley and me! We were probably some of the youngest people in there, but we had a great time and it is a beautiful theatre. I took a video of the short segment he did of Cherry Bomb. Click HERE to see it.
On Sunday we went to Fifth Avenue Presbyterian and spoke with Scott Black Johnston after the service. It is fun seeing him and speaking to him after the services. I used to do the same thing in Atlanta with my Granddad when he was the pastor at Trinity Presbyterian. Always nice to have some familiar faces around. He has been incredibly gracious and kind during all of this, and keeps us in his prayers as well. My brother Jack arrived while we were at church and joined us for brunch at Park Avenue Winter. It is a really cool restaurant that changes its decor based on the season. The food was incredible and we all had a great time.
On Monday we went to the American Museum of Natural History. We haven’t been there since we were kids and lived in Connecticut. It was nice getting to see it all again. Everything there is incredibly well done. I’m glad we got to see it before I am laid up for a few weeks. This is the life sized blue whale in the ocean exhibit.
Yesterday we went to the theatre and saw Million Dollar Quartet. It is a play about Sun Records and a night in 1956 that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all came together for a jam session. All the music is performed live and they did a great job. It was a fun play.
Thank you to everyone who is praying for us during all of this, and please pray for my doctors tomorrow!