Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coming off the rails

Here we are. The week before surgery. It's all about the pre-game now . . . domestic loose ends to be tied, physical preparations to be made (no more anti-inflammatories (goodbye, beloved Advil!), no more supplements, tapering down the workouts so my body isn't exhausted for surgery).

It's my last week with the original equipment, folks, and I'm left to wonder - what does one DO to mark a transition like this? I am feeling frustrated - I have the luxury of knowing that a big change is going to happen, and yet, am at a loss for how to mark or commemorate it for myself. It's not a celebrating kind of feeling, for me . . . as much as I want to be that cool and carefree gal who has a "foobulous" "ta-ta" to the breasts party, it's not something I'm feeling like I can make fun of. I'm not morose, either, just flummoxed and uncomfortable - and all that combined with fatigue and anxiety (they make a great couple, don't they?) are making me feel a little like I'm finally coming off the rails.

Tonight I'm going to shut the lights out on the situation - just crawl into bed with an USWeekly and try to sleep it off, but I have purposely scheduled some unscheduled time this week (reminds me of my favorite Chinese fortune cookie fortune "Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow") to be by myself, to think, to reflect on all of this. No background noise, no distractions. Maybe I'll pick up an old favorite in tough times, Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart or The Places That Scare You and breathe my way through it. I'm curious if I'll find comfort in anything this week, or if I'll just be in a bad place, waiting for the shoe to drop.

This too is part of the process - for me it's actually a bit of new ground. While I had new and exciting experiences during Cancer Round I (chemo, for example, I remember losing sleep (and then hair) over chemo), I have never had the (dis)pleasure of major surgery. These will be new lessons after a new dance with cancer . . . trusting my doctors, trusting my body, receiving help, letting things go. All great for the future, but tough in the present.




  1. Yes, you're almost there. But the countdown has been agonizing. But: you are almost there.

    You are so wise to schedule in some down time. You're also very brave: that down time can be the scariest there is for me when anticipating a moment of extreme vulnerability.

    The last time I had major surgery I came out reeling from my lack of emotional preparation. It was (luckily) not a tricky procedure, but I had so much trouble letting go, leaving myself in the doctors' and hospital's hands, that when I came out pretty helpless, I felt absolutely desperate.

    I'm so glad you've developed all the tools you have in that amazing toolbox you have. I am determined to develop more of my own so that when and if another major surjery comes my way, I'll be a little more ready to hand over the reigns.

    By sharing all of this you help us all be a little bit more prepared for those little pieces of hell that life can throw your way.

    Love you tons.

  2. I am one step behind you - all the way. Rails? Where were the rails?

  3. Best of luck and trust the expertise of your surgeon. You have a strong will and supportive family. Make the most of them -- ask for help, learn to say not now, maybe later.


  4. Will be thinking about you on Monday. You are in good hands. I wish you a quick recovery, good nurses, and no annoying neighbors in your room for the overnight stay at Casa MGH.