I’m two and half weeks post op and there are signs I’m improving. I’ve stopped swearing in my sleep for example! Apparently it was
even shocking the cat who was just on the bed for a cuddle and a good nights sleep. I would like to say it was a ladylike curse but no the f word was said with feeling at regular intervals. So as I was reassuring folks I was fine, the real situation was explored in my sleep. I was totally unaware but certainly was not sleeping soundly. The cursing has now subsided and normal snoring resumed.
Other signs all was not ok was a UTI that had me wearing a path in the new carpet to the loo and a cold sore on my lip. This started with my lip swelling like a Botox job gone wrong and then a couple of days later becoming obvious as a cold sore. It felt so big it might be seen by a passing satellite. It’s still there, reminding me. But I’m fine really! My stitches are out and swelling settled so some normality is returning.
This was topped by seeing my breast cancer specialist who has said I needn’t come back for a year. A wonderful moment. It was also very moving for us both. We had worked together in the breast cancer charity several years ago and he reflected that little did we think we would have gone on, through all these years of treatment. But we’re still here he said. Yes indeed. He also retires soon and I felt very moved and grateful that he had travelled that journey alongside me, knowing he was always firmly on my side. What a gift that has been for me and my family.
Coming to the end of treatment ,which I have in some respects ,has left me with that familiar relief and a touch of anxiety. Can I relax as he said and not expect any further diagnoses? I want to shout from the hill tops ( if I could get up one...) that I’m finished with surgery. And another bit wants to say in a quieter voice...but don’t leave me on my own with this...whatever this is.
I know this journey after all, I’ve done it often enough. Just when you think it’s finished some of the impact hits you. I know now there aren’t short cuts to recovery. Now is the time to recover with good food, exercise ( mmmm) and reflect and acknowledge all that has happened.
A friend shared with me images of the new waiting room in their oncology unit. In particular he shared the poem below , written by Chris Dolan that graces the wall. It really resonated with me. ‘One by one we find our road’ are the last lines. It strikes me that’s what I’m doing again....finding my road. Maybe it will even be a long and no doubt winding one?
Seeing only as far as headlights allow each bend in the road, a surprise, a step
forward, or back,
with only a faint impression of where we’re headed, the journeys’ purpose.
A touch of danger with each turn, bend – the not-knowing, a series of revelations.
Or walking paths, with just a torch, You by my side, at dusk or
A simple pool of light, shared.
Familiar places, different; new places a mystery: the rock, the bridge, the tower.
The trails feel quiet but we slowly gather that we are many, travelling this route.
All of us, feeling our way, together.
Singing in the backseat , dancing down the lane...
Heel for heel, toe for toe Wemakeourwaybyhowwego Step by step, word for word,
One by one we find our road!
– Chris Dolan