A date has been set for early November. The gravity of a date takes the notion of surgery out of the conceptual and a knowing dread creeps into my body, a cellular cloak of warning.
I’m having flashbacks of it all, from diagnosis news to having big decisions on the table, surgical options pushed and sold, fighting to be my best self advocate, peering through the cool poker faces of the medical tradition. I’m wondering and waiting that terrible waiting.
Do you be bullied by fear, the What If of that 4%, or do you beat your chest and march to the 96% Land of the Survivors? Which surgery can you live with? Will there be regrets?
Mind is a strict but efficient mother, setting Fear to order, dismissing and distracting. Mind orders Body to be busy and busier, always a job to do.
Mind says, “You know this is prophylactic…keep your cool. You’ll live through surgical menopause. And keep your uterus, let’s not get crazy. Just your ovaries and tubes, that’s where the real risk lies.”
Body has the dim remembrance of a nightmare though. She sees the bogeyman in the shadows. She shudders at the thought of a blade, albeit however small the incisions.
Fear is a liar and a thief and likes to play with matches. He tells Body a story about going in and finding some nasty cancer that has gone too far. “The abdomen must all be scooped out like a melon, but here’s the kicker, you’re not going to make it this time anyway. Too bad you waited too long.”
About an inch or so inward from my forehead is a calm and quiet place where I can observe in slow motion. There is a passive action of allowing all of this to come up. Not having to change or do, but a still point. This camera obscura where I watch my life unfold, and rise up to meet it. There is something inherently gentle and compassionate here.
I wish I had something more hopeful and uplifting to share, but this is at least true and real. I’m looking for Hope at the bottom of a well but it’s too dark to see my face reflected.