Step One - let go of the life you've planned and live the life you have been granted.
Forget keeping the dreadlocs until death do you part. Forget keeping your body in one piece.
Doesn't the Bible say something about being willing to cut off body parts if they get you into trouble?
Well, my left breast and one lymph node tried to get me into trouble. So it was time to say good-bye.
Step Two - make decisions to give yourself the best chance at long-term health.
Employ a team of doctors and nurses to assist in your healing plan.
As soon as possible after they have done their job, get up from your bed and walk.
Then go home.
Step Three - be willing to abandon your sense of style for a few weeks.
Wear "the circus clown shirt" to cover the four drains.
Be grateful that you are able to stand and willing to laugh at the ridiculous,
though comfortable, snap front shirts you bought for this recovery period.
Step Four - marvel at your body's ability to adjust to its new dimensions.
Keep track of fluids drained.
Keep track of love bestowed as your husband and daughter empty your drains.
Keep track of the days until all four drains are removed.
Be grateful that your body is the wonder-filled organism that it is.
Step Five - marvel at your friends and their enormous generosity.
Flowers, meals, banana bread, visits, cards, care packages, candles and more.
Be grateful daily for the outpouring of their love.
Step Six - Rest, rest, rest. And then rest some more.
Read, watch television, journal, nap, eat, drink, and rest a little bit more.
Be grateful for the constant care and presence of your support team.
Step Seven - keep track of hair growth with regular photos.
Laugh at being mistaken for a man when you are out walking the dog.
Note to self - make sure you put on a skirt and long earrings next time you venture out.
Step Eight - repeat steps One through Seven as often as necessary.
Let the rest, flowers, love, and compassionate care
strengthen you - heart, soul, mind, spirit, and body -
and get ready to fly again.
Remember - this too shall pass.
All shall be well.
With each passing day, I give thanks to God for
the healing, for the love, and for the hope
that sustain me through this time of recovery.