Sunday, June 5, 2011
One more surgery...
Today I went into surgery for the removal of my port. As Katie and I sat waiting, memories of my last surgery flooded me. I found emotions that I have avoided feeling surface as we talked and shed a few tears. It wasnt until I felt the bright, sterile coldness of the operating room that the emotions fully reached the surface. Fortunately, there was only a few moments until I drifted off into the safety the anesthesia provided. I will never forget the day that I had my double mastectomy. I waited to go back to surgery under the watchful, protective eyes of my children and family. I was heavily clad in courage until I left the security of their love and was wheeled down the hall towards the operating room. As I rounded the corner, there leaning against the wall was my youngest son Mitch. He smiled but it did not hide the tears running down his cheeks and the sadness in his glance. How grateful I was that his sweet face was the last I saw before I went into the operating room. Katie was unable to be there that day and although the reason that kept her away was important, I missed her. It was after I recovered the anesthesia that I realized that through the windows of my heart, I had seen her there, with Mitch, as I was wheeled by. That was a blessing from a Heavenly Father who knew the heart of a mother that needed to see each of her children before she underwent such a major surgery. On that day, as the doors to the operating room opened and the starkness of the room hit me, my own tears began to fall. The anesthesiologist asked the reason for my tears and I remember feeling surprised that he would even need to ask the question. I cried out I didn't want to do this, placed a hand on each of my breasts and drifted away from the emotion that was choking me.
After that, there wasn't a lot of time to think about the loss I had experienced. There was recovery and preparation for chemotherapy. It just was what it was and I avoided the emotion attached to the experience. Even the scars, the drains, and the pain were unable to distract me from the denial in which I protected my hurt. I was surprised by that but greatly appreciative of the shelter it afforded me. My surgery today cracked my shell and opened up avenues for the pain to begin creeping though. I felt vulnerable and insecure for the first time as I made my way from surgery to my first radiation treatment. It wasn't until I was lying on the cold, steel table under the colder machine above my head, bare from the waist up that the reality hit me. What was once a most intimate, personal part of my body was now the drawing board for two radiologists as they marked with red ink the pathway for the radiation to follow. They were sensitive and kind, professional and confident... but still, unaware of the emotion I was feeling.
I left the hospital with a heavy heart, longing for the time that my body would become my own again..private and sacred. Life is hard and we are faced with loss and disappointment that time often forgets to give us the opportunity to prepare for. I am not sure I could have dealt with these feelings as I entered chemotherapy. Often we are blessed with a delay in the full awareness of the gravity of our experiences until we have the strength to process and embrace it. To me, that is yet another evidence of the tender mercies that are a part of being a child of a loving Father in Heaven. And when we come face to face with the tragedy we have experienced, He is there with His eternal promise of peace and comfort. Truly, He has never left me comfortless when I have prayed for His peace to remove the sadness, fear and anxiety that on occasion, nipped at my heels with every step I took. So, as I shed a tear or two, I reflect back to the words of one of my favorite songs that I shared early in my blog....'my tears are not a surrender....but for now, just let me cry.' My own tears are not a surrender...they are the means by which my heart will heal from the losses I have experienced these last six months. It would be foolish to sacrifice so much so that my body can heal and avoid the tears that will heal my heart. So for now...."Just let me cry. I know its hard to see but the pain I feel isn't going away today. So just let me cry, til all my tears have fallen. Don't ask why and don't ask how. Just let me cry."
Gratitude and love always...Cyndi