Friday, February 22, 2013
The Bionic Woman
"The most beautiful people I´ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Another week has gone by and we know more then we did the last time. Progress is good. We have a plan of sorts. Plans are also good - they bring some sort of shape and order to chaos. I am good at creating chaos and catastrophising but I am also good with plans. I love them and they give me a sense of control - I feel safer, less afraid, and in forward motion. I have spoken many times previously of the wait involved in the cancer experience and that just kills you sometimes. All you want is to know your battle plan because every idle day that passes allows your enemy to tread further into your territory and you don´t want to give up an inch. So I have been waiting 2 weeks to find out what will happen since we were told it was the big C. That is a long time to think of the worst and draw your own conclusions - a truly dangerous exercise. But my wait has been filled with a job that I continue to try and do on a full time basis and juggle a busy family life. Some people think I am mad to be working right now but my job is one of the few things that keeps me feeling normal these days. I go there every day and am happily distracted by deadlines, meetings and people. I am still me and not the patient. Unfortunately I am slowly losing my cancer anonymity there which was something I so appreciated. I find that one questions leads to another and suddenly I feel that I need to tell people what is happening. I was never good at lying and as you all know - I pretty much live my life openly and share freely. I plan on hanging onto to this normality until the bitter end when they wheel me into the hospital! I have worked too damn hard for this job to give up now and you know what? I will be back in it before you know it.
So on to plans...Breaking news - I am going to become the bionic woman. Yes seriously. I will be going into the hospital in about a week to undergo a rather large and extensive chest operation. They will be trying to rid me of any lingering nasties and in doing so must also remove some parts of my ribs and sternum. Pretty gross I know but hey this is a cancer blog so no one can be that shocked. They will then replace what they remove with titanium mesh which they will shape into a sound structure that will keep my chest stable and hopefully normal looking. Look who´s gonna be the annoying person at the airport that beeps in security! I do find it hard to imagine how this will all happen and how much pain is involved. Honestly? It absolutely scares the crap out of me. How long will it take to be functional again? Drive a car? Cuddle my daughter? Brush my own hair? I will be in the hospital for a whole week which is the longest I have ever stayed and the thought of being confined to a bed sounds awful to me. I am the type of person who only sleeps in my bed. I don´t hang out there, watch tv or nap. It is for sleeping when it is dark out period. And then when I come home, what happens next? I have no clue but hope we will get more then enough info next week when we meet the surgeons.I have tried to find someone in my wider cancer network who has been through something similar but have so far found no one. What does that mean? Is this some kind of weird procedure? It is easy to question everything at this point when so much has gone the wrong way. And the last thing I want to do is go through something as invasive as this but I have to do it. So instead of clincking champagne glasses to celebrate my 2nd cancerversary, I will be assimilating into my own version of the Tin Man. Like everything else I have done. I have to suck it up, walk up to the battle line and run into the enemy camp screaming my frickin´head off. Because there will be a time, some time later, when I will hoist a flag high in the sky and know that I have won. It will come...I just need to be extra tough and extra brave to make it through.
And I would like to give a special mention to my dear friend Anniken who writes a fantastic blog (in Norwegian but google translate isn´t too bad) - Veien tilbake igjen, which means to find your way back again. She is battling Hogkins Lymphoma for a third time in three years and is just starting a stem cell transplant this week. Her strength and positivity is a testament to the kind of girl she is and I am proud to call her a friend. This too shall pass...for both of us.
Thank you again for all the support. I will channel each and every word into getting through this next challenge.
Hugs from OBB