Friday, April 15, 2011

And in this corner...Team OBB

Introducing Team OBB

So this blog topic came to me while I was at the hospital for a checkup post op this morning. Overcoming an illness like mine requires so many different medical specialists who work together to find the best possible treatment and outcome for you.And so every superhero must have a winning team behind them and here is Team OBB.

Walking onto the surgical floor of the Oncology building (or C-Town as I like to refer to it), I am greeted like an old friend by the nurses that I have come to know very well since I became of a resident C-Town. They hug me and ask about my recent wedding and also how my recovery is going. We laugh, joke and chat and it feels good. Even Dr Bad News comes by to see how I am doing. In case you couldn’t decipher my Morse code, Dr Bad News is the doctor who told me the news that rocked me to the core. They say that remembering the day you were told you had cancer becomes like the day JFK was assassinated. You never forget where you were, what you were wearing and the words you heard. I get strength from acting so normal in front of her now when she literally saw me break into a thousand pieces before her very eyes when I heard the news.

Following more jovial chit chat with my favorite nurse, who takes special care of me and I will call Flo after the most famous nurse in history, we check everything out and she reassures me that it all looks very good. One can understand my anxieties over post op recovery as the good luck fairy has clearly not been camping out in my corner these last few months. Thankfully Flo understands my OCD tendencies surrounding my health and has no problem answering my repeated phone calls or making time to see me numerous times this week just so that I don’t have to stress more. As we say our goodbyes, she looks me straight in the eyes and tells me that it is ok to not always be positive and that cancer is bad news. It is okay to be upset, angry or to cry and she wanted me to remember that. I guess being brave is tiring and sometimes even the most strongest and toughest superheroes need to stop, rest and maybe even have a good cry. Having such emotional honesty from my medical caregiver really makes me feel looked after. And I think that is when I realized that they all were more than just my nurses or doctors. Each person is part of my ascent up this big bloody mountain and I am lucky that I have such empathetic people fighting in my corner.

As I go towards the elevator, I hear the familiar voice of my dear Oncologist, who really has a lovely fatherly quality to him that I find so comforting. It was after all him who upon hearing me ask for a repeat prescription of Valium, smiled and said that the best prescription he could give was to cry when I felt bad. He told me that it was important to learn how to cope with the good and bad days and that crying was the best medicine. He puts his coffee down and gives me a big bear hug and tells me that I am young and strong and everything will be fine. He then gives me two more hugs before bidding me adieu.

As I walk out of C-Town, I really am starting to feel privileged to have so many wonderful people on Team OBB. Being faced with a serious illness is never good but it makes such a difference when you have caregivers who understand you are human and have emotions, responses, fears and hopes. And I like to think I make them hopeful too in my approach and attitude towards this obstacle in my life. I actually always make a special extra effort when I go to C-town to look my best with a little mascara, a spot of gloss or my cutest top. I may be ill but I still want to look my best regardless of the occasion! To quote a friend on this one, I don't do ugly!

So again I have a sense of calm while navigating these rough seas because I know that I have the best team skippering my boat towards a sense a peace.

Happy Easter and smooth sailing,


  1. Kate, I am so glad you feel supported. I am also grateful that I have met several of your OBB team when I was in Oslo. It is good to know you are in good hands. As for sadness and crying and feeling discouraged... can't do this crappy C journey without that. All is acceptable. Your ability to see over and beyond and make us laugh is truly marvellous. Mom

  2. Tough times but another great blog, you rock sis! Such a gifted writer too, keep them coming and check out like we discussed earlier for some cheap and cheerful inspiration. Saw the guy who writes it speak this week and made me think of you and strength in a time of adversity.

    J from S&M's computer

  3. I am impressed that you have the Norwegian doctors hugging you!

  4. Hi Kate,
    Just read your blog, what a great writer you are. Glad to hear about all the great people supporting you. Makes your journey a little easier.Keep us posted.Birgit