The calm has set in. I feel like I can breathe. The past month or so has been a little jarring to my spirit, but it has not been without many of the sweetest moments. Besides dealing with the Great Power Outage of 2011, which most of us in Connecticut are finally recovering from… I was sent in for a wee bit of surgery… again… just to make sure I am still paying attention I suppose.
Since October 2009, when my life was so rudely interrupted with the Breast Cancer diagnosis, there have been what seems to be an endless number of surgeries and medical challenges. I had never had surgery before this time. The thought of it made me shudder. But I have been poked, sliced, stitched, injected and infused more in the past two years than I would like to admit. Most of my treatments and surgeries had wrapped up earlier this year and I was moving on.
Life was getting better, but it was an adjustment. I was feeling like one of Picasso’s lovely nudes… my body felt so disjointed and awkward, but I knew I was of a new strength. I knew I was somehow more beautiful, even with all my jagged scars, and without my long hair. It was a sad beauty… a beautiful sadness… Yet I was a stronger, more powerful, more beautiful woman. I became one of the women for whom all the pink fuss was about.
As things were returning to normal, I had no intention of dwelling on this pothole in the road. Life was going good for us in 2011. The economy still sucking… The weather still usually sucking… but I was all patched up, i had some peach fuzz on my head, i was alive, and life was going very good.
Then we get another shot of “Oh Jesus!” juice. Early last month I found out I had a cyst on my ovary… which is typically not that alarming and very common apparently… but because of “my history” they immediately sent me back into the OR to get the whole ovary removed. It is likely nothing… but if it is something… we will just remove your other ovary and your uterus… and if it is still something you will have some more chemo… and then you should be fine… You are over 40 so you must have had your children already… (no, thanks for assuming though).
It was hard to keep the thoughts at bay… to not revisit my dark thoughts of pain and mortality…further departure from my femininity… but I managed to stay positive for the most part.
Today my new set of scars are starting to heal, I can sit up on my own again, and test results all came back good. Now that storm Alfred, and my own personal little power outage, are over… I am back in the swing and all “lights” are back on! Fist bumps all around.
I have made some interesting observations recently. Each time I come out of this ever more familiar post-surgery storm… I seem to know myself a little better. There seems to be a noticeable light shining upon my surroundings… a tangible sharpening of my senses. The colors of the trees and the horizons are so much more vibrant. The flavors of a home cooked meal are so much more delightful. The voice of a friend is so much more relished. My dance music makes me feel so much more emotional. Songs on the radio are so much more fun… I can’t stop car dancing! I’ve seriously got moves like Jagger lately.
I am not taking these observations lightly. It should not take being injected with toxic chemicals or winning a one-sided, unarmed fight with a scalpel-wielding professional to make me notice a sunset or make time for a friend. I always notice sunsets, and i always love my friends, but maybe this is why we must go through rough times. Just to make sure we are still paying attention – really paying attention.
Are you there God? It’s me, erica. Please no more surgeries this year… I’m listening!!! (-:
Images: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon – Pablo Picasso, e.j.l.’s sketch book, Girl With a Mandolin – Pablo Picasso