The background turned dark and grainy as the doctor gazed at me with a maniacal smile and screamed, “the liver has to go!” I may be embellishing this story a little, or whole lot, but that’s how it felt.
I popped a Xanax and begrudgingly had my semiannual MRI of my abdomen. Im claustropobic and the MRI machine nearly causes me to have a panic attack. I’ve gone through this process every six months since they found my liver adenomas two years ago.
My doctor’s preliminary diagnosis was everything looked fine. The lesions appeared to be the same size or had shrank slightly. All was well in my world for the next six months. I said goodbye and went about my day.
The next morning my doctor called with a different story. The adenoma on my right lobe had grown. I would need to have another biopsy. An hour later his secretary called informing me I needed to come in first thing the next morning to talk with the doctor. Things seemed to be progressing quickly for the worse.
At my appointment I was told the Adenoma on the right lobe of my liver had grown in size and started to become amorphic. There was concerns the lesion could be bleeding into itself. Or worse, it could be turning cancerous, as that is a possibility.
I knew where this conversation was heading. His recommendation was to surgically remove the adenoma. The issue is I have two and due to the size and location of each, he will most likely only be able to remove the one on the right lobe.
The adenoma he will be removing is over 6 cm in circumference. About the size of an orange. The adenoma on my left lobe was smaller, but near two major veins. He was afraid if they tried to remove both they wont’t be able to leave me with enough liver functionality. I wasn’t thrilled to hear he wont’t be taking both at the same time, but that’s life.
I agreed to the surgery and he explained the recovery process. I will be in the hospital 3-5 days, then out of work for an additional 2-4 weeks. Because of the large incision he needed to make in my abdomen I’m supposed to be out of the gym for three months.
That’s when the panic set in and my mind started future tripping. I started to think about how much weight I will lose and how my body will look. I have worked so hard to get back in shape and be comfortable with how I look over the last two years since I stopped using steroids. Now, this surgery was going to force me to start over again.
Not too mention I will have to be on narcotics to handle the pain I will be in. That’s only ruined my life on numerous occasions. The doctor said it will be nearly impossible to manage my pain without it. That scares the shit out of me. If I’m not mentally prepared I could end up strung out again.
Then my mind went further down the road of lunacy. If I could talk him into removing both adenomas I could get back on steroids once I was healed. I would be back to my old self in no time! Sometimes my tragically stupid thoughts even surprise me.
The reason I was in this situation in the first place is because of how my body reacted to steroids. Now I am going to have a rather invasive surgery and immediately I thought about going back on?
A day later I calmed down. I accepted the reality of the surgery. It’s out of my control and I have to make the best of it. It’s not going to be pleasant. More than likely its going to suck. I’m scared to have go through all of this. I can’t lie about that. It’s a huge curve ball in my plans for the next several months.
I try to salvage a positive message or unpack a valuable lesson I’ve learned with many of my posts. Creating something valuable I hope others can use. I’m not sure if I am able to make it happen with this one.
Life has a way of catching up with you. I experimented on my body with many types of drugs and peptides and now I have to deal with the results. Sometimes you can’t escape your past and you have to ante up and pay.
My Pop Pop was 25 years sober and CEO of a drug rehabilitation center when liver cancer took his life. Even with all the good he did helping addicts recover, the damage he inflicted upon himself from earlier years caught up to him.
Be careful how you treat your body because you only have one. My Pop Pop used to tell me, “you only have one shot here so make it count.” Sometimes we aren’t sure what counts until we face a scare or adversity.
Life has a way of trying to show you perspective. If you don’t take heed, occasionally life will force its will upon you. Facing mortality makes you view your days as a gift. The sooner we recognize we are all dying, we can appreciate every moment we have while we are living. Maybe that’s the lesson to learn.