Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pursed Lips are a Bad Sign

I've been sitting in front of this screen for a while now, so long in fact that I'm considering changing my medium to interpretive dance because there are no words. There are no words to describe the shock, the sorrow, the loss, the determination, the hope or the love.

Last week Dave and I travelled down to Victoria General Hospital for what was supposed to be the removal of an ovarian cyst. In retrospect, maybe I should have seen it coming, but in all honesty, there was not a cell in my being that thought for a second that this was cancer. I had visualized for days, the smooth white surface of the benign cyst. In my mind I watched as the surgeons delicately removed the mass and nodded at each other, satisfied that the job was straightforward, ordinary and routine. I envisioned coming home excited, because I had decided that the removal of this ovary was a sign. It was a clear sign that now was the time to have another baby. I wasn't going to wait out another three years on Tamoxifen, my anti-cancer drug, I was going to have a baby followed by a hysterectomy and possibly the removal of my other breast. And then it would be over, no more worrying.

But then I woke up to pursed lips. Trust me, that when you are coming out of the anaesthetic fog, the last thing you want to see are pursed lips. Pursed lips, reserved welcome backs, teary eyes.

They removed the cancerous cyst and the ovary that it was attached to, they scraped the fatty layer that covers my intestines, they biopsied, they shifted, they explored and discovered upon further inspection two cysts on my aortic artery, a lump on my neck and ultimately that the cancer has seeped into my lymphatic system.

We have not seen the breast cancer oncologist yet, but the surgeon told us that chemotherapies may be available but they would not be designed to cure the cancer that I have.

We got home on Sunday. Exhausted, overwhelmed, broken, scared, stitched, stressed and parents of a three year old.
And then there was love.

The sheer bombardment of support that we have felt in the past three days has been a miracle in itself. We feel lighter, hopeful, contented and loved.
Opportunities for healing are showing themselves quickly. I am trusting and willing to let things fall into place. I feel calm, patient and part of a bigger plan.

A close friend of mine told me that the trick to life is realizing that this world is not our home, we come from something bigger, more beautiful. We are in this world for a short time and our purpose is to show one another love, and when our journey here is over, then we go home. If you can wrap your head around that, she said, then there is nothing to worry about. I can find peace in that, I'm just not ready to go home yet.

I've got miles to go before I sleep.