Sunday, April 30, 2023

State of the Schafer: On the Mend

Welp, my excision surgery for my stage 0 breast cancer was on the 19th, and I'm healing well. As of today, my energy has returned, the soreness is minimal, and I'm even able to sleep on that side again. (A huge help to me, as I'm the sort of sleeper who turns from side to side during the night. Post-surgery, that led to a lot of waking up going "Ow!", despite attempts to brace myself with pillows.) I was definitely glad I took two weeks off work, so I didn't have to worry about trying to be productive. I've spent my recovery time snuggling with my dog and reading and catching up on TV shows that friends have been telling me to watch. 

Comet's been great about keeping me company during recovery

The highlights of my TV binging would include Ted Lasso--which, yes, is as heartwarming as everyone says. I resisted until now because I didn't want to pay for yet another streaming service (and Apple, to boot, I am not fond of Apple in general). But I'm kinda glad I waited, because it means now I've got 3 seasons of Lasso to enjoy, hooray! Another favorite distraction has been the new show Rabbit Hole, which is kind of like a cracked-out mash-up of 24 and Person of Interest. Kiefer Sutherland stars, and you know, I can happily watch Kiefer play spy characters all day. Although, what I like best is that the show has way more of a sense of humor than I expected, and never takes itself too seriously. Good times.

Speaking of kind people, my awesome co-workers sent me flowers, and a gift card to a shop that imports American foods and snacks. Jiffy corn muffin mix and Kraft mac-n-cheese, here I come.

On the reading front, I turned to some old favorites: Dorothy Sayers's Peter Wimsey mystery novels. It's always fun to read the whole series in order and see the build-up to the masterpiece of character work that is Gaudy Night. I also re-read Rachel Aaron's urban fantasy Heartstriker series, I think because watching Ted Lasso and his superpower of kindness made me want to read about similarly good-hearted characters--and Julius Heartstriker, Nice Dragon Extraordinaire, fits that mold quite well. I also re-read my own books, haha--in part because I wrote them for my own taste and so I thoroughly enjoy them, and also because I plan to do some work on the drafts of a Lena story and a Ruslan story., so it's good to immerse myself in the Shattered Sigil world again. I'd love to finish those drafts up while the Cara story, The White Serpent, is off with an editor. 

I'm returning to the day job tomorrow, which is good because I'll need some distraction. Today I heard from my surgeon about my pathology results (where a pathologist examined the tissue removed during the surgery). The good news: no higher stage invasive cancer found, phew! The bad news: more pre-invasive cancer was found than expected, so I may need to have a second surgery to take more tissue. Later this week, the surgeon is meeting with the pathologist and the "tumor board" (a group of doctors) to further discuss the results and make a decision about a second surgery.

As you might imagine, I am not thrilled about the possibility of going under the knife again. But as cancer goes, this is still pretty low-key. No invasive cancer found means no chemo needed, which is a huge relief, so I plan to focus on that. Or actually, just focus on work and writing and family fun, until I get further word from the surgeon. Onward...

Glorious autumn day in Queenstown


  1. Thanks for the update, and glad to see you've been surrounded by your favorite things. (Well, mountains, too, of course, but you're always surrounded by them.) Good luck with the next step (hopefully it'll include hiking poles), and enjoy that autumn weather!

    1. Thank you, Steve! Haha, and yes, I am very glad I am surrounded by mountains so I can still enjoy looking at them even if I can't hike in them just yet.