As of today, there are only 7 days remaining before I go in to hospital for cancer surgery. This morning, Robert and I were up early to attend the "pre-admission clinic" at which I had to have blood drawn, get an EKG, talk to a pharmacist, get a chest x-ray, and sign consent forms. The actual tests took up at most 15-20 minutes, the rest of the hour and forty minutes was spent waiting. I was deeply grateful for the comfort and solace of Robert, who had reminded me to bring a book to read, and who was able to keep me laughing at myself and my own impatience with the process.
Patience is not my strong suit: any patience I do possess is hard-won through my years of working the Al-Anon program, and can desert me at stressful moments. Having to sit through redundant sessions during which I'm told the same information which my surgeon's office has already given to me by email, (twice now) does not show me at my best. I was as polite as I was able, but poor Robert had to sit and listen while I quietly nattered to him about how irritating it all was. He's incredibly patient, loving, and a source of humour and joy.
Tonight is the last meeting of my home group which I'll be able to attend for a couple of weeks after surgery. I'm looking forward to it. This group has quite a few wickedly funny members who can get the rest of the group howling with laughter, and laughter has always my best medicine.
(After giving it some thought, I've decided not to attend the meeting tonight, only because my doctor warned me that were I to catch a cold or the flu before surgery, it would have to be postponed, and that would be ghastly, as it is, we've been waiting four months since the cancer diagnosis, I want the operation to be done and over with. The room in which our group meets is small, with little or no air circulation, and is close-packed with people by the time the meeting begins. All it would take would be one person with an active cold or flu, and I could get ill. So, regretfully, I've decided to stay home. I called my sponsor, who is in the peak of health, and we agreed to meet tomorrow afternoon.)
I apologise for being so remiss about posting in the last while, but I'll keep you updated, and Robert has agreed to write a post letting you know how I am after surgery. I'll also try to write a few more times before I go in to hospital next Thursday, Dec 5th. My surgery will be at about 11:30 that morning.
Today, as I struggled with my impatience and irritation at the excruciatingly slow and time-wasting process of pre-admission, I was dismayed to realise how strong emotion or stress can make me feel as though I've backslid enormously in my ability to practise program principles. I've been a member of this life-changing program for 29 years. Apart from the stress of leaving a long-term marriage to the alcoholic, when I finally faced the reality that the marriage had been moribund for many years, and I was just not accepting that truth, my life has been fairly stress-free for a long time. I've had family and friends supporting, encouraging and loving me, and until Aug 10th, was in a state of blissful ignorance in my new love with Robert.
I believe it is to his credit that the shock of the diagnosis didn't make him hesitate or falter for a moment in his commitment to me, and to our relationship. I get tears rush to my eyes when I consider what a tower of strength and love he has been for me, while I've been coping with hearing that I have cancer, testing to stage the tumour, and the emotional turmoil of living with a tumour growing inside me, until the surgery to remove it.
Robert is the man I've always wanted, and had begun to believe didn't exist. His decency and trustworthiness, wicked humour, intelligence and thoughtfulness, and generosity with himself and his love for me, have been a gift beyond measure. I thank my Higher Power every day for the incredible wonder of Robert in my life. He has made having cancer bearable, with his ability to make me laugh at anything, and I do mean anything. At other times in my life I might have found some of his cancer jokes shocking in their directness, but in this period of my life, they have been a cool draft of sense and honesty, and have made me laugh until my stomach hurts.
I am so grateful for the fact that with him, I can be completely myself, at no time do I feel as though I have to censor myself in order to be acceptable to him. I know that he doesn't judge me, as I don't judge him. We just love each other, and feel gratitude for the wonder of it all.
I'm off to do some painting, it calms and relaxes me, allowing me to coast along creating in peace.