I need to be on the other side of this thing. The waiting, the anticipation, the unknown — it’s starting to become unbearable. So much of what I’ve experienced in the last few weeks has felt like one step forward, two steps back. For every moment I have felt strong and brave, there is a counterpoint, a moment or two or three where I have felt weak and miserable and overwhelmed. There are days that seem like normal pre-diagnosis days and there are days where I am one step away from ending up on the floor in the fetal position.
As surgery gets closer — just one week to go — it gets harder to find my center. I spent the morning cleaning the oven and the kitchen, doing laundry and setting up a space for my mom in our little media room upstairs. I dusted and vacuumed and made a paste of baking soda and water to clean the glass on the oven door. And then I crashed. It was all I could do to get off the couch to pick up my son at 3 pm. I eased him through homework, all too aware that he’s also feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I had to remind myself that no matter how unprepared he is for tomorrow’s midterm, it isn’t worth pushing him — not now, not today, not this week.
When I had my pre-op testing at the hospital on Monday, they gave me three packages of these special surgical wipes. I’m supposed to shower the night before surgery, then use these wipes (which will help protect me from infection) on my arms, legs, torso and back. The morning of the surgery, I can brush my teeth and wash my face, but that’s it. No shower. No water. No food. Midnight is the cut off. I know it’s not important, but I hate everything about those instructions. I can’t explain why because I’m not even sure I know. I just hate them.
I am so grateful for the love and support of my family and friends. I don’t take any of it for granted. And when I am feeling myself slip or my mood falter, I am never far from an encouraging word or an outstretched hand. I want to be strong for the people who love me and care about me. And a lot of the time, I am.
But the waiting is not easy. And the thing I’m waiting for is a terrible thing — although I guess you could argue it’s a good thing too, but mostly it’s just terrible.
I want it over. But I’m so far away from over, I don’t see how I’m going to get there.