Ways in which I am Similar to a Stray Cat
Gah. I’m having hard days. Days so full of stress that my body hurts. My muscles hurt. My brain is tired. I get up well before dawn and crash out early in the evening. I manage to keep my spirits up most of the time, but then I have these moments where I will swirl away with thoughts and fears.
I am trying to perfect the art of pulling my mind back to the positive. I am outlining lots of “happy places” I can take myself to when my thoughts run away. I can go to a petting farm, to the cabin where we honeymooned… I have yet to be able to take myself to any of these places when I am in a scared state, but at least I know where I am supposed to go. That’s a start.
The appointment with my surgeon was hard. I like her. She’s tough like me. I trust her.
I’ll be having a radical hysterectomy. (It’s uterine cancer.) I wanted to keep my ovaries so I could maintain some hormonal balance, but it’s too risky that they too will bring more cancer if not removed. This means I will experience abrupt surgical menopause. I will not be able to treat that with hormones as hormone replacement will make me vulnerable to cancer in the future. They will take some lymph nodes too.
She has explained to me that the birth defects will make my surgery much more complicated. I had my ureter tubes (the ones that go from my kidneys to my bladder) surgically repositioned when I was a child. There is scar tissue from past surgeries. They don’t know where my ureters sit now. This means I need a CAT scan to find them. Then we will need a urologist on hand during the surgery in case my bladder has adhered to my uterus or some other issues arise. Plus they will drive tubes up my urethra, through my bladder, and into the ureter tubes so they have a lower chance of damaging them during surgery. It will be a 4-5 hour surgery. Once they have removed all of these parts they can assess my cancer and tell me what stage it is. That will determine if I need radiation.
The whole time the doctor explained this I was choking back vomit. I have so much residual trauma from those past surgeries that I get nauseated and freaked out.
Beyond the actual surgery, I worry about other things… like what impact this will have on my job, my ability to work, and my ability to care for my family. I am reading stories from other survivors to try to figure out how long it takes to heal from this surgery.
I’d be lost without my husband. He’s a rock through all of this. He comes to every appointment, helps me take notes, he stays positive and encourages my intense practices of self-care. I have lots of love and amazing emails and messages from friends that I need to respond to… forgive me if I am a little slow right now. I am a bit like a cat when it comes to being unwell. I want to hide under a car, rather than be loved. It’s horrible I know. It’s also why I am writing here… I am trying to let you in.
I continue my yoga practice. I play games. We built a little cart full of things to do when I am feeling bad. It has lots of art supplies and comfort things like my heating pad. I don’t want advice on cancer or herbal remedies right now but if there is something you think should go in my cart, please let me know. Tell me about your favorite video games for iPads, good books you are reading, and art projects. Giving me advice on how to stay distracted and comfortable are very welcome.