Well friends, it’s been a very long 2 weeks of mostly inaction. Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, being in pre-op when surgery was canceled. The following Tuesday I saw my cardiologist who immediately cleared me for surgery because she saw no indications of a heart issue, backed up by a perfect EKG, which matched the one I had in March, an echo a couple of years ago, and a cath procedure (with no issues) less than 5 years ago. In fact, she said with the hemoglobin level at 7, if I walk up the stairs and my heart is pounding and I’m short of breath and I DIDN’T stroke out, then I’ve had my stress test. From there we went right back to the surgeon’s office. I think he might have been a little surprised she cleared me, but they promised to get me rescheduled as soon as possible and that it was “a priority”. I should hope so after all of the emotional and physical lead-up only to have it cancelled.
So, finally it is rescheduled, as of last week. For October 6th. Yes, 5 weeks after the first date. I had to undo my 4 week “out of office”, reset my client’s expectations of my availability, re-book some appointments and cancel some others, and basically re-rearrange my life.
And mostly I had to reset my attitude. I have been very angry. This surgery was first presented to me on July 26th. A surgery that, while complicated, would make me cancer free. A surgery that was initially scheduled within a week of the first appointment with the surgeon. So, being in limbo and wait mode for over 2.5 months is a lot. I’m doing my very best to keep my chin up and stay positive and be excited because this IS exciting, but y’all, so much of this delay seemed unnecessary and it has so tried my patience – not my strongest suit to begin with – the back and forth, the not knowing, the very long delays. I am trying every day to acknowledge that this is all in the right and perfect timing, even if I can’t see why. Listen, having cancer and the constant struggle to stay positive and keep moving forward is not easy. Add to it a pile of really unbelievable medical bills (yes even with insurance) and for us, the fact that we are still struggling to get a new business off the ground. THEN add things like this to the mix, and it will break even the most upbeat person.
The anger is tough, it’s hard to keep at bay, and it has a way of sneaking up on you, exploding and then shifting to depression and sadness. I am sure that I’ve hurt some feelings in 3 years, that my bad days have come out in ways that have hurt my family and friends, and I’ve had times where I knew I was being a royal bitch, so consider this a blanket apology for that. Really, it has never been my intention to hurt anyone. Some days I think it might be easier to be a more depressed and negative person with cancer, and then perhaps the expectations would be lower. I know you all want to see me continue to fight from a positive place. I want that too. You miss the old Ann, I do too. Trust me, I really do. In the end, you really can’t know what this burden is, the full package of it, the pain, the fatigue, the frustrations, the waiting, the fear, the uncertainty, letting go of expectations of what you thought your life would be, the money, the stress, all of it – you can’t know unless you’ve lived it. It’s really really hard. And a lot of days I’m mad, and really trying hard to work through that. Imagine having the worst day of your life for a consecutive 1,147 days (to clarify, not all of these days have been bad, but they are all, collectively, worse than the 51 years of days that came before it). Anyway, it can make a girl real mad.
So I’m not trying to make excuses for bad behavior (well I guess I am), but I am asking for some of what I also need most right now, patience. Most days I am still that person living my life from a place of joy and love. Some days, some periods, it’s just harder to get there. This has definitely been one of those periods. But I also hope this serves as a good reminder to all of us supporting loved ones through difficult times. Be aware of expectations (I once heard expectations are “premeditated resentments”). Know that we realize we’re not easy to be around some days. And allow some space for the hard, dark, angry, sad days because they WILL happen, and as long as we don’t stay there, it’s ok to have them.
Onward and upward. Here we come new surgery date! No point in holding on to anger about it, I finally have something locked in now and I can spend the next 18 days being excited about it! And that’s what I plan to do. Thank you for ALL of your support, on the good AND bad days, loving me through this. I couldn’t do it without you.