Sunday, November 06, 2005

Counting Down to Surgery

Most of what I write these days has this somewhat Pollyana-ish tone to it – life is very good. I have a supportive religious community. I have a wonderful set of musical partners. I still have sex with my husband on a regular basis and, perhaps more importantly, we love each other more than ever after 29 years. Rebecca and I have finally found a relationship beyond therapist-client that fits us perfectly – we are like sisters. I have all the friends that a year ago I thought I would never have. My body is becoming stronger every day as I seek to counter that imbalance that plagues me.

But then I woke up in the night remembering that in just 17 days I have to have surgery to remove the remaining half of my thyroid. Until now I have been able to wall off my feelings about this, only dealing with the whys and whens of the surgery. I suppose visiting Deborah for the pre-op exam and having my blood drawn on Friday made the wall start to crumble and forced some of my fears to the surface. Here’s what I am afraid of:

– Going to sleep and never waking up.
– Botched surgery where they remove the wrong thing.
– Getting the wrong bag of IV fluids.
– Damage to my vocal cords that affects my speech or ability to sing.
– Waking up and having no one to sit with me (like last summer when I had the original surgery).
- The biopsy results showing a recurrence of papillary cancer.
– The impending radioactive iodine treatment that renders me glowing and unable to be around people for a week.

Whew! That’s a relief just to write these worries down. Now I need to figure out how to deal with them. Maybe today I’ll open the book that Dr. O gave me several weeks ago. Maybe I’ll study the low-iodine diet that I must go on prior to the radioactive treatment (it just came in the mail yesterday.) Maybe I’ll open the shrink-wrapped “Successful Surgery” guided meditation CD
that I’ll start to listen to in order to prepare for this surgery.

I had every intention of working out this morning, but instead realized that I had all this in my head that I needed to unload. My life is very good, but I must acknowledge my fears about this impending surgery and work to quell them. The surgery is suddenly a looming presence.


Anonymous GINGER said...

Wow! You neglected to mention at our lunch that you are facing surgery - it's on the 23rd? We'll have to talk before that.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Ginger -- Let's do talk before Nov 23. I'm determined not to sit around feeling sorry for myself, but any surgery where you are put under is a big deal. It was such a pleasant surprise to find your comments!

10:50 PM  

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