My pathology reported that my ginormous tumor was an "ovarian mucinous carcinogen" that was tagged as "borderline." Basically the doctor said that means I may or may not have had cancer and it may or may not come back. I always like that report. You may or may not be dying. So I asked, does that mean I may or may not need to come back for more treatment? She said that the borderline cases fall between benign and cancerous. It means that if left, it could turn into cancer...or it could not...but the important thing is that it's gone and the surrounding organs were not affected. She said that at this time, no further treatment is required and by removing basically everything on the left lower side of my body, I'm good with just an ultrasound every 4-6 months. I took the news and got out of there before she could fill my mind with any more may or may nots...like you may or may not be able to ride the bike in 10 days....
Because well by that Friday I was on the bike, 10 days afterwards. Before I get crap, I NEEDED IT FOR THE HEALING PROCESS!!! And well it worked, I put in 10 ENJOYABLE hours in last week on the bike and a couple of hikes. My concerned friends and fellow cyclist enthusiasts have been wary, saying I need to not ride, heal, and eat pizza, but in my mind an easy spin around Seattle, breathing in the fresh air and feeling each pedal stroke helps me remember the reasons I'm doing this and also reaffirm my commitment to this sport.
I am proud to say that during my adventures, I did not focus on watts or burning calories or time or distance. I just enjoyed myself and now plus 3-4 pounds later, I have proof that my focus was on just enjoyment...of cycling and trader joe's dark chocolate with truffle candy bars...gulp...I guess I like chocolate...oh and those sesame sticks from trader joe's...yeah, those are good, too.
So, yeah, now, for my three week sans ovary anniversary, my focus this week is on nutrition and making sure I'm filling my body with good food and drink so that I continue to heal at a rapid rate.
Meanwhile, I've enjoyed every minute of the following "Sans Ovary Adventures," as I like to call them.
1. My first ride back on the bike. Of course, I have to show off my new scar :) (Photo credits go to Jeff Dunn--it truly is an award-winning shot.)
3. An awesome 10 mile hike to Kendall Catwalk with my friend, Dean, who happens to know every "easy" hike in the surrounding areas--I asked 30 times are we there yet? What's the goal? Where are we going? How many more miles? I definitely need something to tell me my average watts while hiking. I go crazy without data!
To summarize, life is good. Healing is fun and I can't wait to kick some serious ass in 2011. As my friend, Dotsie says, these setbacks will make you bulletproof for the challenges that come your way in the future. I agree. This year I have faced all challenges head-on (whether it be breaking my collarbone, a rock habitating my hand, getting my 148-pound Clydesdale butt up 18-mile climbs, throwing myself into the NRC circuit, or marketing myself to pro teams) and I can see now, as I just moved through something life-threatening with rapid speed, cycling has definitely made me stronger, wiser, and, above all, (as corny as it may sound) appreciative of my life and ability to gravitate towards the positive in bleak situations. I plan to keep up this momentum and see how far I can go next. I'm looking forward to my next adventure.