I have lost the ability to see things in terms of years. When you are cancery, or perhaps when you are walking through any difficult patch of life, time is not measured in long swaths. It is measured in, ‘bitch, am I going to make it through the next hour?!’
2016 taught me many things, but one of the most valuable is how I look at time. Sure, sometimes you have to plan things in advance, like vacations you’ll never take due to a pandemic or significant birthday parties that will become but a whisper of a concept as they pass by un-feted for the same reason. For the most part, though, I operate on an hourly basis. When I am feeling really bold, a daily basis.
So often you are asked about what is happening in the next few weeks. If you are attending that thing or if you can make it to that meeting. My response to questions like this is ‘I am going to work on making it to sundown today. Ask me 24 hours in advance.’
This micro-living suits me. It gives me much teensier goals that are attainable. Do not ask me what is for dinner if we haven’t had lunch yet unless you want to feel my wrath. If I actually do feed my kids lunch, I give myself a proverbial medal of achievement. I waded through time and accomplished something! It feels much better than ruminating on plans weeks away that I am sure as hell not sure I will be able to do. No, that last sentence is not a typo.
Now let me break this down a bit more. When you enter Cancertown, things start to move quickly in terms of appointment-making, but the time in between these appointments is like thick mud. In the next 2 weeks I have:
- Pre-op physical
- Pre-op with plastic surgeon
- Pre-op with plastic surgeon’s nurses to discuss aftercare
- An initial appointment with a radiation doctor
- a Covid test at the hospital
- Post-op with breast surgeon
- Post-op with plastic surgeon
In hindsight all of this will feel like a blur, but in actual waking, live hours, it feels like a slog through pudding (delicious??). I feel the need to quote Dr. Leo Marvin here and say, ‘baby steps.’
Now to complicate things further, I currently have 2/3 kids with Covid. One is isolated upstairs, the other in the basement. Could they be isolated together? Yup. Would someone end up physically maimed or emotionally scarred? Also yup. That leaves the main floor for me, my husband and the other child.
It feels very Squid Games-esque as we try to support one another, but also stay far away and question each other’s every movement and bodily function. Let’s be clear, if I get Covid now, I will most likely have to postpone my surgery to have Greg removed. Finding an available OR and 5 hours of free operating time for two separate surgeons is very tricky. It could be weeks before I am rescheduled.
Listen to the following words closely: If I have to keep Greg inside my body for multiple more weeks because of Delta, Omicron, Alpha Chi Omega, I am going to Lose. My. Shit. Carrying this bitch-ass tumor around daily feels like dragging a boulder everywhere I go. No thank you, ma’am/sir.
Now, have I made some mistakes knowing that Covid is rampant? Yes. Did I share a spoon with Covid kid #1 and a straw with Covid kid #2 the day before they tested positive? Indeed I did. Those were bad moves on my part. So far, I have tested negative each day on an at-home antigen test. The average time you show symptoms after exposure is 5 days. That is either tonight or tomorrow for me.
Keep an eye on the seismic scale for the northern suburbs of Chicago. This will tell you if I end up testing positive. I will throw a fit of magnificent proportions. This will require a lot of anti-anxiety meds and jelly beans. I’m just sayin, be ready.
So how am I feeling about 2022? Twenty twenty TWO-mer? I am all for fresh starts, but this one needs to calm down. No big overarching goals for me. Just baby steps to the hall.
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sending you all the love in the world, my brave, brilliant, amazing sister.
Covid is another unwelcome chapter in the shit show Choose Your Own Adventure: Breast Cancer Treatment & Reconstruction story. People who haven’t gone through this have no idea how many moving parts are involved & how one little thing can derail your treatment plans. Fingers crossed you don’t get Covid & things can move forward as scheduled 💗
You’re my baby. I’ll help you cope and love you all along. You are amazing. ❤️💖