Still waiting

A sunny day today, the first we’ve had in a long time. All that grey was grinding me down, so this is a good thing. And kind of warm – the kind of day where half the people you meet have a dazed smile on their face as they look up at the blue sky. No one is expecting spring like weather in January.

I am anxious. I have the operation in two days. And I’m finding out at the last minute there is more preparation – I have a pre-op appointment Thursday starting at 7 am to noon. How will I ever make it out to the hospital at that hour? Especially as parking is ruinously expensive there. Then today I found out I can have breakfast tomorrow, but then must fast and cleanse. Sigh. How can I have breakfast when I have to be out of the house before dawn? But I’ll be very hungry if I don’t eat at all that day or the next.

Trying not to be scared all the time. Trying. Sometimes I stop being scared and feel a kind of vast sadness underneath that. Not sure why – sadness that I got sick? It’s almost restful after all that fear.

Yesterday I went in to work, and it was great. Everything was so normal, people were all acting as always, I felt no fear all day long, it was as if it was a different world altogether. The worst has been when I’m trying to work from home – I get so anxious I cannot focus at all.

I am trying to focus on the fact that I have a skilled surgeon in a world class hospital, and that I have a better than even chance of having a relatively small procedure done.

I was out for a walk, and at that time I didn’t know about the cleansing stuff I have to do tomorrow, so I bought pork for lentil soup. Now I think I’d better not eat any read meat. Maybe I’ll go out and treat myself to a supper out. I can do some cleaning instead of cooking.

Uncertainty is a bitch. That is a big thing I’m facing, and like everyone else, I hate it. I don’t know what’s going to happen, how much it will hurt, and what they will find. And whether the operation will go well.

I also have a therapy appointment set up for tomorrow evening, and can’t decide whether to go or to cancel. With the cleansing, it might be tricky, but it is at a time where I think I could manage it. Weighing the comfort of seeing Ron again once more before the scary horrible operation, vs. the stress of fitting it in right before hand, and the possibility that this session may open things up instead of soothing them down.

I wish I had deep thoughts to offer on sickness and health, or uncertainty, and I don’t at all. I’m in the dark here. Mostly this seems to be about a ton of fear and trepidation.

A good thing is that a lot of people are showing support, even people I don’t feel that terribly close to. My boss has been kind and shared a bit about similar operations relatives have had, and her own recent operation, for something different. I’m all ears for stories about operations at the moment, I find them endlessly fascinating. And people are kind enough not to tell me about ones that didn’t have a good outcome. Some friends I know through I group I used to go to are coming to visit me – I don’t see them often, but we’ve known each other for years. A friend whom I wasn’t getting along with has been surprisingly open to talking about this and will also visit me.

So I should have some visitors while in hospital, which will make me feel cared about. And my mother will come, and likely my sister and father also. It really is time to use the supports I do have, and I’m realizing I do have a few.

I’m reading a rather trashy novel. Why is trash so anxiety reducing? For me it has to be the right trash – this one is a story about a young woman addicted to coke who goes to rehab,Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes. I’m interested in this topic. And she throws in a lot of jokes. And the heroine has this kick-ass attitude, made up of a lot of denial but also sheer feistiness. Not literature, but I find it soothing.

What do you like to read in times of anxiety and stress?

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9 comments
  1. Harriet said:

    Hugs Ellen. I think whatever you are feeling is perfectly normal, and it is nice that you have support from a variety of people. I wanted to hear surgery stories too, before my surgery. I don’t remember a lot from mine, but when my surgeon came to see me at 6am the morning of my surgery he was wearing a 3 piece suit – I remember that. Blue pinstripe. I said “I didn’t get the memo”. I later asked him if he changed into scrubs for the surgery and he said he did, even though he never touched me because I had robotic surgery. You will remember weird things, and forget important things, and it will all be fine in the end. How long will you be in the hospital?

    I can’t really read when I am anxious, I play mindless games like bedazzled or spell tower. But a favorite author of mine is Jennifer Weiner – totally silly chick books with no substance, but very easy reading.

    I think if you are able you should go talk to Ron, I bet he will be a comfort to you. If there is one thing about Ron that I have gleaned from your posts, it is that he is steady as a rock. And rocks are good in times of uncertainty.

    If you don’t post before Friday, let me send my best wishes to you now. After my surgery I posted to my blog from my phone, and I have no recollection of doing it! You might do the same. I look forward to hearing all about it when it is over and when you are doing fine, because you will do great.

  2. Bourbon said:

    I think seeing Ron tomorrow would be good. I guess you can both try to make sure the conversation is steered into safe and gentle and reassuring topics rather than digging up anything unsettling. I think you are both astute enough to make the session what you need it to be. Thinking of you and sending some warm hugs. Even though it has been sunny today it is still very very cold!! xx

  3. weareonebyruth said:

    I am hoping you can see Ron tomorrow evening. I know with my breast cancer surgery, the night before the uncertainty was at its highest pitch. Having someone to share with hopefully will help. Keeping you in my thoughts hoping for the best.

  4. Juliet said:

    I hope you see Ron; I’m sure he can help you with the anxiety and uncertainty. Happy to hear about the support you’re getting!
    I am thinking of you and I will keep my fingers crossed and hope everything goes well. Hugs xxx

  5. artyelf said:

    So glad to read this post, and thankyou for sharing your journey with us.
    Being scared and anxious is so normal, don’t beat yourself up about this. And remind yourself you are on the path to healing, the operation is just one of the steps, an important step to rid your body of the cancer and be well.
    It would be good if you could see Ron, I’m sure you could dictate what you need, and he may ease your nerves a little. And just to have that support from someone who really knows you and hears you may be a comfort – but do whatever You need to at the moment, You are the priority.
    At times like this I read ‘trashy’ novels too. Light and funny ones, authors who can laugh at themselves, or books like Harry Potter to be transported to a totally different reality. Sometimes I read classic fairy tales too, they’re short and can be comforting, especially for small ones within. Recorded books can be good at times like this, especially when in hospital recuperating, and local libraries often have a good selection of these.
    If we don’t see you for a while, know that you are wrapped snugly in my heart, sending healing light, strength and calm your way.
    Much love to you ♡♥♡

  6. laura said:

    I’m sure you’ll do great, E! we’ll miss you, warmest wishes.

  7. Ellen, I’ve been continuing to read everything you post, and sending warm wishes and thoughts your way. Thanks for keeping all of us in the loop on what’s been happening for you. I know I am not alone in saying that there are many of us who are rooting for you and thinking of you, hoping always for the best. 🙂

    Aaron

  8. Gossip magazines or tried and true books that I’ve read many times (Illusions by Bach, Drinking, a Love Story by Knapp, The Alchemist by Coelho). Sometimes Reader’s Digest is good too. Or puzzle books. Things I can glance at and easily put down. I listen to a lot of music too when I’m anxious.

    Thinking of you.

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