So, the Big Day is almost here. M-Day? Whatever. Details: I check in at St. Luke’s on the Plaza at 10:30 Thursday morning. Surgery (double mastectomy and insertion of the port for the chemo) at 12:30. Should take 3-4 hours. A night or two in the hospital then home for about 10 days.
I sort of feel like I’m preparing for an expedition on the Amazon, or maybe a climb up Everest. I’ve been spending hours at work trying to write down everything I do in a day, and how to do it, and where to find things, and clean out my messy drawers, and my messy desk, and my messy bookcases, so the temp doesn’t have to live in chaos. I keep making lists of things I might need (most of which, I don’t), might want (new underwear for the hospital, my mother would like that) and things like movies I’ve been wanting to watch, music that makes me happy, books to read, etc. I keep going through my clothes trying to figure out what I’m going to wear during the healing period and not look too weird.
Of course, I have my brackets filled out for March Madness.
Even with my brackets completed, and new underwear, and music loaded, I don’t feel very ready. Can you really get ready for something like this? Maybe, but I don’t think the answer is in the packing, or the bracketing, or the music uploads. Mostly, these things are just ways to try and not think about it. I am anxious, even afraid sometimes.
Annie Lamott says that if you make friends with fear, it can’t rule you. I don’t know how friendly I am feeling toward my fear, or toward Herman, but she also said that “courage is fear that has said its prayers.” That, I can do. I can also remember this:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
And the waves shall not overcome you.
Do not fear because I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name and you are mine.
I am blessed to be known and loved by the God who created me and knows all about what is going on inside, who has called me by name and claimed me, and listens to my prayers so that I can find that courage. I am surrounded by loving family and friends who are praying for me, and good doctors and nurses who are going to take care of me. Herman, having none of these things, is in serious trouble and will be belly up soon enough.