Today is April 1st. It has been a month since I was told how much my life was about to change. While the news was given to me weeks ago, I am just now starting to process it all. Finally, it is all truly sinking in. I remember sitting next to my doctor in the small consultation room as vividly as I did the day after. As we first looked at the images of my tumor, the feeling I felt was far from normal. Surprisingly to many, I did not feel sad. I did not cry. I actually smiled. I did not say much as he pointed the bright white spot out to me on the computer screen. I was in shock. But now, as the days go by, the reality of my situation takes its toll. The scans, tests, needles, and doctor visits have slowed down. While most are under my belt, the waiting game begins. I know staying busy is what is best for me. Having something else to occupy my mind helps, but I don’t have the desire or energy to do many things. The past couple weekends I have made plans to do many fun things with family and friends, up until the time of the events I love the idea, but when the time comes, no part of me feels up to leaving the house or going out and trying to forget what is currently constantly on my mind. It doesn’t help that I don’t sleep much. It isn’t that I lay there sad or upset, I just simply cannot sleep.
I understand that the way I feel sets the tone for those around me. A good day for me means a good day for those so close to my heart. Fortunately, I have dealt with health battles of loved ones before. From those battles I know that being strong is the only answer. Each day I do surprise myself with my strength. I am so proud of myself, really. While it is easy to feel sorry for myself, instead I feel beyond blessed that I am the patient in this situation because I know that I am tough enough for anything that is thrown my way. I am so glad I am the fighter of this battle.
I am still working at The James Cancer Hospital on the surgery floor. While I love working there, it feels odd. I find myself picturing my family sitting there in my waiting room. While at work I see the fear on the families faces, I also see the hope and strength within their hearts. It motivates me. It shows me I will be okay. It shows me my family will be okay. Being so familiar with the environment that I will be in myself is also reassuring. I know exactly how I will be cared for and who it will be by. I know just where I will be and how long I will be there. Everyday I look through my upcoming surgery schedule. Seeing my name on the list makes my heart drop. Seeing that my surgery length is the longest on the list also makes my heart drop. I try not to look, but I can’t help it.
Each day my spirits are lifted by multiple people. I never knew how loved I could feel until the past few weeks. It is unbelievable. Messages, cards, packages, flowers, hugs. Even from those I have never met. It is beautiful to see how caring people can be. I have a different appreciation for life now. I truly do. I never knew how much a simple smile could impact someone’s day.
I am lucky.