One week ago, I was on the short count down to surgery. I had just spent an amazing weekend hiking, talking, laughing, loving and continuing to get to know this incredible man who challenges me in so many delightful ways. My VA deemed responsible adult, support person, friend Staci had flow in from Phoenix and was beginning her mother henning using her own breast cancer experience to ease mine. Monday…Tuesday…Wednesday…I finished things up at work preparing for the unknown of what surgery and recovery would be like. I spent some time talking with Benjah, one of the Beloved coordinators assessing how to fit me into helping at the festival which was happening just one week after surgery. We settled on a light schedule so that I could still participate. I am learning to allow people to hear what I would like to do and meet it with gentle caring and a modified schedule. It’s been hard to change my lens from “You can’t do this” to “You don’t have to do this and it’s okay.” I worked a half day surrounded by amazing people, got lots of hugs, ran with the kids just watching them in their brilliant resilience absorbing their positive energy and walked away with flowers and prayers and well wishes. I came home to finish packing up to head to Portland. When I arrived, I had a houseful. Mom, my two dads, Dean, Staci and at one point my cousin Carrie were all over. It was vibrant and everyone was having a wonderful time catching up with each other. I, on the other hand, wanted to go hide in the closet. I’m still having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that this is a big deal. After lots of hugs and a double check I had what I needed to be comfortable for the next two nights, Staci and I headed north. We dropped Scarlet off with Melanie so she could be well cared for since she didn’t see the need to wait until I was done with my medical stuff to have her own–princess.
In Tigard, where we were staying we went over to Banning’s Pie House and had dinner. They have the most delicious salmon cakes. I wasn’t particularly hungry but I wasn’t going to be able to eat anything after midnight so I figured I’d better eat. We also ordered pies. Staci got two (strawberry rhubarb and chocolate layer cake) and I got two (chocolate cream and marionberry poppyseed cake). We wanted extra for after surgery. That was an excellent idea. It also made us both look like piggies. I tossed and turned most of the night unable to shut my brain off. I also drank a ton of water since I would also be cut off from that starting at midnight, so I spent a fair amount of time getting up and going to the restroom. When the alarm rang at 5am, I actually felt more calm then I had for the last few days. I bathed myself in the surgical scrub they gave me for the second time (It puts the lotion on its skin) pulled up my crabby socks and off we went to the VA.