Upon Entering the Final Leg of the Quadrathalon

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.  You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – anonymous

So. I have been pretty bitchy lately. In fact, I even had a major freak out… yelled at Adrian, got in the car and drove off; something I haven’t done for years and never done with him. I ended up in the cemetery in the west side of town, crying over my steering wheel and trying to figure out why I was so edgy.

scar laterMonday I had my post surgery check up and blood tests. The results were “perfect” said my doctor, Cristina Ferrone, when she called, “amazing, feel free have a beer to celebrate!” Seriously. Great news. Still, I was feeling so very twirled up, so out of control. CONTROL. Exactly the problem. I, like many, have a tendency toward tightening the reins (any reins) when I feel like I am not in control. I am grasping, in bitchy, grouchy, snarky desperation, for the rudder of my life (boat).

The problem was (and still sort of is, though I am sorting my brain out) that even though I was getting good news about my amazing (re)grow a liver: I still have 6 rounds of “cleano” to do. I still have CAT scans with radiation filled contrast injections, to do for years potentially, and another minor surgery to remove (thank god) my meta port…ahhhhh.

In essence, I was really feeling how I am not in control of what I am supposed to do in order to get my totally clean bill of health, to be considered cancer free. I still need to do what the doctors tell me I must do.  Ahh… letting go… it is so hard. Letting go of control, choice, dreams, people… none of it easy, but often necessary in order to move forward.

“Cleano” restarts tomorrow… Thursday, June 25th. Hypothetically, I will be doing my infusions every other week. If you are in the neighborhood on any of the Thursdays (listed at the end of this) and want to visit, hang, eat hospital food, then let me know. I am happy to have company as I sit at the hospital for about 5 – 6 hours generally. Let me know, I’ll be the chick with the cool scars and sexy fanny pack (argh).

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you” – B.Tracy

(“Cleano” dates – tentative- July 1, July 16th, July 30th, August 13th, August 27th, September 10th)It changed today (June 25th) Because they weren’t ready for my awesomeness! They thought I would need another week of recoup, well that and the paper work from Mass General was late…heh heh>

11 Responses to “Upon Entering the Final Leg of the Quadrathalon”

  1. Marsha Says:


    You and your super-grow liver are amazing. I’m so happy that you feel good enough to be bitchy!

    Sending happy, healing thoughts,

  2. Sarah Says:

    I love your raw honesty and I love even more that you take the time to truly reflect on what is going on in your world and head. I wish I could have magically appeared at that graveyard that night to give you a hug and to remind you how perfectly and deeply loved you are. I know I speak for many when I say you are my hero—your strength, humor, beauty, and wisdom always make me take pause and wonder how such an amazing person could possibly exist—and she’s part of my life—-wow.
    Take a deep breath love, this last stretch is going to be a doozy…but come September your life will be yours again.

  3. Erik Says:

    You are amazing Lina, and I love you tons [and send you hugs from far away..]

    It was wonderful to see you all this past weekend, too.

    I hope to be around for your July 23rd “Cleano”. Hospital pies, here we come!

    Home stretch….

  4. Francisca Matos Says:

    Sounds like you’re doing amazingly well. I keep seeing you dancing. I hope you are or will be soon. Are you listening to music all the time? Maybe that’s what I’m picking up on.

    LOL… Fran

  5. Kathleen De Simone Says:

    god you are fantastic…lets hear it for rage and anger!!! you have to be feeling pretty safe to finally allow those feelings to come ripping out…now
    what hospital…hope it is here in Burlington… I miss a full ton!!! and send you kisses

  6. Sue-Sue Says:

    What a great looking abdomen! Are you using Mederma? because your scar is really nice–as scars go… There is also some psychological “scarring” that goes with all the trauma that you have experienced. You have been through a shock (the initial diagnosis), followed by a series of physical assaults. You should not expect to have your equilibrium back yet. And no one else has that expectation either. I firmly believe that your view from the “other side” of this year will improve. For now, keep your loved ones close and keep sharing your fears, disappointments.. but don’t write off any of your dreams yet — just postpone them for a while. As for control, you have been exercising control through this entire ordeal–all of the steps that you have taken are ones that you have accepted — with a measure of dread —but also with a serenity that is enviable.

    So, for now,


  7. Levi Says:

    Meghan and I will at least be in New England on 8/27, but we might be down in CT. So I don’t know if we’ll get to see you that day, but goddamnit we will see you! Love to you and yours, as always!

  8. Jesse of London Says:

    This is a message in two parts. The first part is for Lina, and the second is for all her friends (but you’re all free to read both parts).

    -Part 1-

    Hi Lina-

    Great work getting this far! I always love reading your posts! If I ever write to my friends and family through such a public forum, I hope to muster the same courage and honesty you have. I’m sorry I’ve not been posting for a while. As you might guess, this was to do with the 7 bike rides I help organise here in England. They were wonderful, and I got to attend 3 of them. York, London and Brighton. Almost all the rides grew – York drew 100 riders, London 1,200, and Brighton 700. The quality of the events was terrific. I’m glad things went well, and now I can focus on other things.

    I keep sending out my healing energies to you. I’m glad you’ll get a little longer to heal before you get your next round of “cleano”, I can’t believe you’re already well enough to put your new liver through this. I’m impressed!

    The freakout you describe must have been a tough experience for both you and Adrian. I completely understand though – it’s really tough when you’re not feeling the full stability you want. Everyone has their breaking points, and it seems fairly inevitable that you’ll have points of despair and freakout. It also seems inevitable that you’ll find the strength and focus to recover well from these freakouts. I’m totally convinced that you have the strength and togetherness to get through the next stages in your healing process (even though it’s not fun and easy). We’re all there for you and Adrian. Feel free to lean on us, even lean hard on us! We’re strong enough, and we totally love you!

    I look forward to seeing you in my dreams, and I also look forward to seeing you in person in a few months.

    with reindeer and love,
    Jesse in London

    -Part 2-

    Hi friends of Lina –

    I highly recommend hanging out with Lina during the “cleano”. It’s really great! You sit around in a peaceful beautiful setting and relax in the comfy chairs. There’s tea, coffee, water available, and it’s just a really nice experience. It wasn’t much like being in a hospital. It was more like spending the afternoon waiting in a very slow consulate.

    The treatment isn’t a lot of fun for Lina, but apparently it’s not really painful or hugely discomforting. When I went, Lina was felt happy chatting a lot of the time (and also Adrian was there, so I chatted some with him). She might not feel like chatting the whole time, so bring a book or something to occupy yourself. The treatment center has art supplies, so you can really keep yourself entertained. It was a great experience, and I’d happily do it again anytime (except that I’m here in London, England). I think it must make a big difference to Lina’s experience having friends there to make it more pleasant. If you get the chance, I highly recommend going with Lina to a “cleano” session. You won’t regret it and you might even have a really great time like I did!


  9. pam Says:

    Lina…Good for you for tapping into your frustration and acting on it…so often we feel obliged to be the “good girl”….you’ve been thru so much, it must have felt freeing to get in the car and drive away….This will all be over
    soon…and time heals everything….it will feel like a bad dream.
    I continue to do my hula chants for you and hope the bracelet we gave you
    brings you peace. I will call Adrian soon….there’s a great show on Newbury St. at Lanoue Fine Art and they are looking for pieces to show in films/tv shot in Boston….Hope the rainy weather hasn’t been too depressing….it’s not very uplifting for the spirit.
    Lots of love…Pam

  10. connie feydy Says:

    Your freak out was a brave and healthy response! I’ve been living in close quarters with 3 teens and a 22 year old for a couple of years now and I’ve seen myself a goodly amount of freak outs, and even though while they occur it kind of sucks, it always turns out that they were an incredibly helpful communication. That is, after the initial surprise/discomfort of a freak out I feel like I understand where the person was coming from, exactly what they were feeling in the rawest form. And when the freak out diminishes there’s a calm understanding and opening all around…they just seem…important. It’s good to know what we’re all feeling and a freak out can be a very good release. Now, of course, I still feel like a big dumb dummy when I have a freak out… but, you know, after a little while I do feel better and I can express the core issue calmly and usually with some humor by then, and I can tell the people around me are more or less relieved to have had the tension broken. Anyway, you are wonderful Lina and I can’t tell you how much your thoughts and messages help me.

  11. Jesse of London Says:

    I hope the “cleano” went smoothly if you did end up having it this week. Whether or not you had the treatment this week, I hope you’re feeling reasonably well, and getting plenty of good support.


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