Friday, April 05, 2013

Mark your calender, dear reader

Two weeks from today, Friday, April 19th, I will undergo surgery.
Two surgeries - double mastectomy and hysterectomy.
Big changes for this big girl.

Friends frequently ask me how I feel about "all of this."
I wonder which "this" they are referring to.
The horrors of chemo past or the prospect of surgery future?
The removal of body parts or the hope of being another step closer to being kanswer free?

Every day since the one when the doctor told me that they had found kanswer in my breast and lymph nodes I have asked myself some version of that question:

how do I feel about all of this?
where is my heart? how is my heart?
how is my faith? do I still have faith? in what or whom?
how is it possible that my faith still feels so strong?
am I afraid? what do I have to fear? is it okay for me to not be afraid?
what am I supposed to learn from all of this? am I learning the lessons I'm meant to learn?
is it okay for me to feel good, great even? is it okay for me to be happy even now?
does feeling good, not being afraid, and not worrying about surgery or its aftermath
mean I am living in denial? is it possible to have come this far and still be in denial?
how do I really, really, really feel?

Sometimes I feel thousands of things and sometimes I feel nothing at all.
Sometimes I feel like all of this is happening to someone else, like an "out of body experience,"
but I'm making the decisions.
Sometimes I feel like this is a ridiculously long and vivid nightmare,
and I am convinced that the alarm is going to sound at any moment now
and I will awaken back into my real life.

Most of the time, however, I am enormously grateful to be alive, amazed that I am so unabashedly loved, and excited to be stepping fully into the process that will rid this body of mine of this unwelcome intruder.

I never thought I'd ever, ever, ever quote Taylor Swift, but here goes -
Me speaking to Kanswer, with one hand on my hip and the pointer finger on my other hand wagging accusingly in kanswer's direction: "I knew you were trouble when you walked in."
Now get the hell out of me, kanswer. GET OUT!!!
Thanks for the lessons, but it's time for you to move on.
I've got places to go, people to love, and a long life yet to live.


The Thich Nhat Hanh calender on the wall above my desk says this for the month of April -
"Peace can only exist in the present moment. 
If you truly want to be at peace, 
you must be at peace right now."

Right now, I am at peace.
Right now, I breathe.
Right now, all is well.
All I have is right now.


Lisa said...

I love you.

Monee said...

Dear sweet Gail. So much to come to terms with. I know what you mean about the out of body experience. You are strong enough to know it is okay to feel weak. If that makes any sense. I will pray that the surgeries go well. I will also try to call you one of these days before the big day. Sending love and hugs across the seas. Xoxo.

Laura: One Day At A Time said...

I really love your attitude. Especially the finger-wagging, Taylor Swift inspired bit. :) But seriously, isn't this the definition of courage: to feel the fear and do it anyway, and that is exactly what you are doing. More like "in spite of" the fearful situations and events and diagnoses, you are doing life anyway. Prayers for your upcoming surgery!

Heather Alderman said...

Gail - you just keep going - you are an amazing author and amazing person and you have so much to share - and I wish the whole world would read you - and you just kick that kawnser out because you do have a long life to live and much wisdom to share. I hope some day to meet you but in the meantime sending you good thoughts, prayers, hugs and love. Heather