I’m happy to report I successfully made it over that last hurdle and managed to drag myself away from a certain pool as well. I am going to try to stay away from all pools and hurdles for a while!
As everyone who has been hospitalized knows, you don’t get much sleep in a hospital. It’s weird; when you need to rest the most, you can’t. It’s not possible unless you are getting way more drugs than I did. Even in the middle of the night, my mind kept working quite well, always filling up with random thoughts.
I decided to share some of my randomness here today. Sometimes you just are better off not trying to fight it…
First of all, my doctors, family and friends told me I would feel relief when this surgery was over. They were right. This would be an acceptable time for them to say, “We told you so.”
I do feel tremendous relief. I can now proclaim to myself I have done all I can do to stop the cancer beast. I have taken all the steps known to me at this time to keep the beast at bay. This feels really good, empowering actually.
Next, I decided my doctors don’t always appreciate the patient’s sense of humor. When I mentioned to them that since I was on this assembly line of sorts anyway, maybe I should have a few other procedures taken care of (like maybe a few nips and tucks, or perhaps that colonoscopy I’ve been putting off), they just rolled their eyes. It makes me wonder what they really think and say when their patients are finally out cold (think Grey’s Anatomy). It’s probably a really good thing we don’t know…
Another thing this latest round of events further confirmed to me is that since cancer, I’ve become quite attached to my laptop and online community. Once again, I made promises about leaving my laptop alone for a few days and as expected, once again this presented a bit of a challenge. The ongoing support I have received from my family, friends and online community is important essential to my well being. (Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and comments).
I don’t like being without any of them for any length of time.
One of my “crazier” thoughts while being poked and prodded was about teaching, more specifically about teaching fractions. I found myself thinking about the statement I sometimes made when teaching my students about fractions. The statement that says, a whole is the sum of all its parts. Since cancer, I’ve removed a few of my parts. So, am I still a “whole” person since I am no longer the sum of all my parts? Did I mention it was one of my crazier thoughts?…
I also learned the mind, or at least mine, is clearly divided. There is my rational clear-thinking (OK semi- clear thinking) side which told me this surgery was something I needed to do. It made sense. Then there is that mysterious “other” side; the side which tends to overthink, over analyze and over imagine all those ambiguous “what if” scenarios. Balancing these two sides in order to achieve some kind of equilibrium/sanity is not always a simple undertaking, but it is possible, at least most of the time.
Perhaps most important of all, I accept now that processing is an essential component at each and every step on this cancer gig.
I have also learned this processing part should not be rushed. If you do rush it, the next step will probably require even more processing. So you are actually saving time and anguish in the long run if you give yourself time upfront to process/think/feel/cry/rant/react, or whatever your particular processing regime requires.
Give yourself permission to do this.
Another bit of very welcome random news was a phone call from my doctor telling me they found no abnormal/cancerous/precancerous cells in my removed “parts.” I love it when doctors don’t wait to deliver such news.
One final observation, I’d like to make is that spring finally arrived in this part of the country. When I left for surgery, we still had a couple of those disgustingly nonwhite lingering piles of snow. I’m happy to report, they have finally all disappeared! And the little lake we live on is ice free!
Spring is here!