Friday, July 25, 2014


I have reached a point in my recovery, where I rarely become angry. When I do, I am able to count to ten, remain silent, or speak without heat.

Since this last operation, I find myself more short-tempered with all the appointments, visits, chemo treatments, dressing changes for my PICC line (a catheter inserted in my upper right arm and left in for the entire duration of the chemo, six months) trips to get bloodwork, and waiting waiting waiting to be able to do all of the above.

On Tuesday I had to go see a chemo oncologist for my regular bi-weekly checkup, to make sure I was healthy enough for the next treatment. I was sent from pillar to post to try to get the dressing change, because I kept being told by ward and clinic clerks "Oh, we don't do those here, go there, and they'll do it for you." I went back and forth several times before suggesting that one clinic clerk come with me to tell the other, that someone over there was supposed to do my dressing change. I then waited for another hour and a half, so by the time I was called, I was feeling quite annoyed. I'd forgotten to bring a book to read, so was reduced to either Economist magazine, or home decorating.

When I did get in to see the doctor, I was short with her, and said that I didn't appreciate being kept waiting for an hour and a half. She gave me several reasons, and we talked about it a bit, but I was annoyed, and stayed annoyed throughout the 10-minute visit.

At home that night, I felt that I owed this doctor an amend. So, knowing that the chances of me being able to catch her long enough to make an amend face-to-face were slim to none, I wrote her a two page apology.

This morning she called me at home to thank me for my apology, and we talked for a bit. I'd explained what is going on for me, how I'm struggling with the limitations imposed upon me by the second surgery, and waver between acceptance and anger. She revealed that her daughter had undergone the exact surgery, and asked if she could refer me to another specialty doctor who might be able to help. I agreed, apologised again, and we parted on good terms.

I felt the enormous relief that comes to me after I've made an amend that I know I need to make, and I also found my eyes welling up with tears. Had I not been willing to make the amend, we would most likely not have ever spoken about the limitations, we'd just have discussed the cancer. God puts these people into our path, and it's our choice to either turn away, or turn towards them.


  1. Amazing--as usual. I have reposted this to a post for next week. I am so grateful that you and I have learned that our self-respect is a precious gift to keep guarded and preserved. THinking of you and offering up strength.

  2. It is hard though to wait and wait and be given the run around. I think that your amend was good. I feel terrible when I am impatient with someone who really isn't to blame for what has occurred. But time is valuable to each of us so I am willing to say something in a non-snarky way when I have to wait a really long time for an appointment.

  3. Lovely post. Making amends is so freeing for me, and I'm glad that you will have such a better relationship with this doctor because you worked your program. I hope you won't have such long waits in the future, but am glad you learned something good through this one.

  4. Considering you were reduced to either The Economist magazine or Home Decorating, I think you showed remarkable restraint.

  5. Terrific post and insight. You're such an inspiration to me. Thank you, I needed this tonight.

  6. It is difficult for me surrendering and not being a door mat, I get the 2 mixed up sometimes. When I am present and willing to own what is mine it all works out I dont have the shame spiral which doesnt help anyone.