Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So now what?

Surgery was Friday. I had been crying Thursday night because I was worked up and scared, so my eyes were quick to tear. The surgeon instantly noticed and I admitted I was scared. "You don't need to be scared," he said in the least reassuring but most confident way. I knew that it was routine to him and needed to be, but it's hard to submit yourself to that kind of stuff. Just to go from person to patient is kind of a journey.

When I woke up (and truly, that's what anesthesia is like - I fell asleep, then I woke up), I could tell I had been crying more. I dread to consider what I must have seemed like to them. I had a big bandage on my neck, which Richard exclaimed was "really small!". I had a nice corner room at the hospital, right over the ambulance bay. One nurse made me walk around the floor once. The other brought me graham crackers and peanut butter to take with my pain killers. I watched a lot of crappy TV, paced around in my room. Ordered some not-bad-for-the-hospital food and ate it. Waited and waited and waited for the surgeon's partner to stop by and discharge me, and then he even offered to keep me another day. I went home.

But since I've been home, I read a whole book (a first for quite a while!), pieced together most of my afghan, laid out some jewelry, deadheaded the garden. I've talked to the office a couple of times, listened to a mix CD that Tom and Becky made for me, and watched some more crappy TV (those darn Housewives!). I'm probably not really ready to go back to work, but I'm looking bored in the eye and saying, NOT ON MY VACATION, buddy.

The scar is, so far, pretty small. Today you can kind of see the yellow bruise around my clavicle. There are 3 little steri strips holding the wound. My hands tingle when they perceive a calcium deficiency, which is frequently. Sometimes I feel like my heart might be racing, but I think that's pain.

It is exciting from the larger perspective to consider that they took out the cancer. It's gone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Won't get fooled again.

Well, naturally, that is a lie. And it relates not at all to the song, but now that you're here, allow me to whine that I've missed several apparently lucrative blog topics, so I'm not letting this one go.

For example, if you were once the editor of a fancy home decor magazine, the New York Times might publish an excerpt from your book (!!!) about having your job eliminated and feeling kind of disconnected. Oh. I did that LAST summer. Although, my job title was a little less exalted and maybe a little imaginary, and the NYT did not publish anything by me, I also felt some ennui.

Previous to that I had this great idea that I would keep track of my experiences cooking every recipe in a cool cookbook. I know, Better Homes and Gardens! That will be bland but I'll know how to make green goddess dressing eventually, right? Oh. It's been done? Darn.

So, now that I'VE GOT CANCER, I'm not letting it go. (I'm actually having it surgically removed, but I digress.) Yeah, I said cancer. Thyroid cancer. Oh sure, it's the most curable cancer that has the highest survival rate. But I've got it! And that's the point of blogging, right? Me me me.

I'm being a little sarcastic, I admit. Because I am scared. What if it has spread? What if I lose my voice? What if I gain 30 lbs? What if my thyroid was ME, and I'm not myself anymore?

Someone actually said that to me today at work, that I would not feel like myself. I nearly burst into tears. When I think about it, it's a little ridiculous. I read Eckert Tolle, I know the body is not the ego is not the soul etc, etc. But, realistically, if the body is feeling sluggish, it could make the mind more melancholy. A lot of the things that I think are "me" are body related - I love to do things that I'm good at over and over, and if I'm not "in practice" then I won't feel good at them. You know, things like running and belly dancing. These seem like especially important skills to me because I'm fairly new at them, and I don't want to lose much of the headway I've made.

So really, it will be an excellent test of being in the now, Eckert. Because right now, my throat is a little sore, so I'm about to eat a dish of ice cream. If it still hurts tomorrow, I will call a doctor or two. I suppose if they don't think it's a good idea to have surgery on Friday, I can post-pone it. Oh well. See? It's okay to have a dish of ice cream right now.

And, it's just a handy gland. Lots of other people don't have one for a lot of reasons, and look and feel fine. We can do it. We being my mind, my ego, my legs, and me.