Thursday, April 08, 2010

The storm before the calm

Now that I have an appointment with my oncologist, I have that panicky feeling that the situation always brings me these days. I haven't been since my major scare in the fall, and I'm overdue. Now I remember why I procrastinated: I feel frozen at the mere thought of walking in the building. Paralyzed.

When did I become like this? I remember cracking jokes before my mastectomy. I used to think of myself as so brave, and sometimes I still do....but when I have to go back to the oncologist these days I feel small and powerless, like a mouse in a field with a hawk circling above. I just hope I can find a big enough leaf to hide under, knowing that the leaf isn't real protection but if I'm lucky the hawk won't spot me.

I am so very, very glad that when I entered Cancerland I didn't know how long my mind would stay there, and that I didn't understand the length of the journey. I thought it would be a long-gone part of my past by now, and yet it remains part of my present.

Deep breaths. I truly hope that this is the storm before the calm, and that by the time my appointment is over on Friday, I will be able to laugh at the feelings that are behind this blog post. I just want to get an "all clear" and then get the heck out of there! Dear friend Michele is going to drive me so that I don't get into any traffic accidents on the way, and to hold my hand, and that helps a lot. I did chemo by myself a lot, and I don't know why. (Certainly, I had friends enough to come.) 'Chele will help keep me from going any further insane.

So, further lists of things I love to calm my soul:
- listening to Mozart in the mornings
- hot, strong, dark roast coffee
- the lilac bush under the window - with the window open, the spring breeze is blowing lilac scents into the house today
- blue skies with just small, pure white puffy clouds (and today, that is what I see)
- reading to Tessa in bed in the mornings, her warm body snuggled up to me, her arm clutching Special Bear
- Special Bear. This is the bear that "Uncle" Paul gave to Tessa on the day she was born, and she has only spent two (accidental, and very sad) nights without it since her birth. He is worn so that he looks like he's made of fabric, not fur, and it's hard to tell that he was once a warm he's more or less a dull gray. Tessa has hundreds of stuffed animals, fluffy, soft, new, and beautiful, but we both know that Special Bear is worth more than all of them combined.
- Friends who accept me for who I am. Oh, this is such a gift.
- The pillow that my mother-in-law made for me, that sits on my Arts & Crafts style rocker.
- My alter in the middle of the house, which holds a chalice, a cross, and a seated Buddha figure.
- The trees in my yard, including two maples with brilliant fall colors, a white dogwood to remind me of my B.C. heritage (and yet it was planted by a previous owner), the giant pink flowering dogwood, the gorgeous old styrax, the lilac that has grown so much since we moved here, the two poplars that give a wonderful sound when their leaves rustle, the funny tree in the front that blooms pink flowers in winter, the pear which is in full blossom right now, the Japanese Maple with the hiding spot under it for Mo in the summer, shady and hidden.
- Decorating for holidays, large and small. Today I will take down the Easter decorations, which include an egg candle, an "Easter Tree" decorated with pastel eggs, a couple of ceramic bunny dishes, and the like. Mostly I put these things up for Tessa, who just adores it, but it makes me smile, too.

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