My last post was so aggro, apologies! Sort of, I mean, it’s how I felt at the time.
Tomorrow I get my port out. For those fortunate healthies who don’t know what that is, it’s a little plastic tube that was surgically placed in my chest that allows blood draws, infusions of medicines, etc. that normally would go into my resolutely uncooperative forearm. But since my rascally little veins love to ghost out on even the most experienced nurse, the port was necessary. I won’t call it a godsend, or say I have any sort of attachment to it, but it did save a lot of time and discomfort. I did at times forget it was in. Well, until I wore a low cut shirt or a bathing suit, then anyone could plainly see a Frankenstein-ish bump protruding above my left boob, underneath a purple scar.
I’ve kept the port in longer than usual; I finished treatments in July, and most people, from what I gather from nurses who are aghast that I haven't gotten it out yet - have them removed ASAP. I have so many mixed feelings about it.
One, I’m surprised to find I'm terrified of the surgery itself. It’s a minor surgery, very minor. That doesn’t stop me from being petrified of the procedure. Getting it in was no problem; at the time I was in shock from having been recently diagnosed and getting a piece of plastic in my chest paled in comparison to the chemo I’d be getting blasted into me and all the fallout from everything else. However my trepidation now is because I’m a superstitious freak. It's supposed to be a marker of an end to my "journey" (puke) and a time for celebration. But what if I get this out and then need it again? Oh, I can’t even. It happened to my mother. It’s very hard to see beyond that.
And of course, one day before this surgery, guess what’s back? That nagging back pain. Coincidence? It seems to creep up anytime I think about striding through the automatic doors of Dana-Farber where first I will sit in the waiting room on floor 2, or 9, to get bloodwork I'll once again be amid all the bald heads, amid all the worried caretakers, and amid the wheelchairs and the blue arm adhesive and the locator GPS clips they stick on you that I always wear home by mistake, all of which reminds me you are still one of them. Then, what if something horrible shows up in that bloodwork? It’s been months of blissful ignorance. What if something is wrong? Wouldn’t that just be a gas? On the day I’m scheduled to have this shit taken out of me. A fucking gas.
This weekend I attended a family member’s funeral; he passed from whirlwind of complications related to what was at one time a containable type of blood cancer. He was a truly kind, fine man, and at the park where we spent his memorial in Newport I was reminded of going to (the same? or at a least similar) park when I was around 8, on one of the last trips we took with my father, who was in his own last stages of life. Two families, together, walking the beach, spending time together, despite a harrowing cloud. And this weekend Mike and I brought my mom, and I saw how much pain she’s in--both mentally from seeing someone she loves so (relatively) quickly decline - and physically, with how difficult it is for her to get around, despite being reluctant to admit or show it. I see the ravages of this disease everywhere I look, and I sometimes struggle to crawl out of he certainty that though it came for me, and though they tell me I’m one of the lucky ones, I don’t feel lucky. I feel like it may come for me again. Or it’s still in me.
I’ll try to push out these worries, I’ll try to ‘barrell’ ahead. (sorry)
And I’ll try my damnedest to have faith and hope.