Surrender

  I have spent most of the past several months going back and forth between surrender and pissed off in the grief cycle.  I’m sure this is normal, whatever that means.  In my life I have a pattern of getting upset because things don’t go the way I plan, curse either to myself or out loud, then realize at some point that I’m not in charge here and surrender into peace.  Then the next moment, hour, day, week something else happens and I go back to square one.
  I was reminded of this when I read the comment on my last post, which was probably left by a fellow cancer patient who was overwhelmed and not in a moment of surrender.  I can relate to her being angry about one more thing to deal with.  Cancer is full of “one more things” to deal with.  They don’t tell you that at the beginning because it would probably cause you faint straight away, at the very least.  Or flee to Mexico for margaritas and tiki torches, eschewing torturous treatments for a little paradise before your demise.
  Today I went for my pre-op appontment for Wednesday’s 1:00 p.m. surgery.  I went alone, which was a big mistake because in addition to being traumatized about my own surgery (which honestly came as a surprise to me when I arrived at the hospital) I was also reminded of how upset I was when my mom was at that same hospital less than a year ago.  It was not the best morning.  I found myself on a waiting bench, crying, next to a strange woman who felt compelled to ask if I was ok.  I lied and said yes, thinking she didn’t really need to worry with me because her husband was in pre-op himself.  But she was an older woman and I longed to lay down with my head in her lap and ask her to rub my back for a minute. 
  After my appointment I went to lunch with my breast cancer posse.  It was great.  We laughed about pink and how we pretty much hate it now, talked about our ports and treatments and how we tire of that puppy dog look that people give us, even though we know they mean well.  It was a bubble of awesome, that lunch.  A pocket of being “normal” because the five of us are normal, to each other.  
  Then I got home and the bubble burst.  The scheduling nurse from the doctor’s office called to say my surgery was moved to 7:30 and that I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.  I was so disbelieving I asked her if I was on candid camera.  Because what was going through my head was the list of people I would have to call and things I would have to change to make that happen.  And I was thinking that I don’t get up before 6:30.  I LOATHE getting up when it’s dark.  It pisses me off.  Rearranging my whole life for a surgery that I’m pissed about having in the first place pisses me off.  Having to call my ex-husband and change his plans pisses me off.  It was ONE MORE THING.    
  She assured me that she was being honest, that it was changing, that she was sorry but that’s what the doc wants.  Something about how patients who require plastic surgery are being moved to mornings.  Like changing surgery times is as easy as changing a shirt that you hate before you run out the door.  I became the opposite of surrendered. 
  Angry and overhwelmed I retreated to my closet to break down.  I would have used the pantry but mine’s too small to get inside.  When I got it together I made all the necessary arrangements and it really is no big deal after all.  But I had the illusion of having all the balls in the air, perfectly timed, and when the surgery time changed all the balls fell and I don’t even know for sure I found them all.  But I do know that whether I did or I didn’t doesn’t matter because I’ll still have surgery at 7:30 Wednesday morning.  Probably.  Unless someone or something knocks the balls out of rotation again.

5 Replies to "Surrender"

  • comment-avatar
    Juli Ternan
    August 23, 2011 (3:52 am)

    Sending you prayers & healing thoughts today, tomorrow, Wednesday and beyond. Thank you for sharing this experience with those of us who live in the periphery of your life. Your posts always make me pause and realize (and be grateful for!) the blessings I have…one of which is to know you Brandie!

  • comment-avatar
    Jenny
    August 23, 2011 (6:09 am)

    Hey brandie, I know you mentioned how hard it is to ask for help, which I know as a feeling all too well. I’d offer to help in specific ways if I knew what ways would be helpful. So here is a semi specific/general offer. If you find yourself having to do something alone, please call me. I don’t have any classes available to take this semester, so I will have a schedule more open than most as I wait for the winter semester. Please put that bee in your bonnet. Ill be praying for you Wednesday. I know you will be in Gods hands. The most perfect place to be. So Much live light and prayers bring sent your way. Jenny

  • comment-avatar
    Kelly
    August 23, 2011 (4:10 pm)

    Sending you prayers, love and healing hugs….thank you for sharing all of you in these posts…it truly touches a part of me more deeply and allows me to connect with you when I don’t get to see you in person…thank you for all the inspiration and honesty

  • comment-avatar
    margretha
    August 24, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    Hello. I don’t know you, but came over from 37days, and I couldn’t leave without telling you, that I wish the very best for you today, and that you get the time you need to recover in every way.

  • comment-avatar
    Sherry Smyth
    August 24, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    Today is your surgery and I am sending positive, healing thoughts and prayers your way.

    This post reminds me that through all of this journey one thing we lack is a sense of “control”. All we want is to have a sense of control, to be able to make decisions and then act on them…instead we are on the merry go round, the hamster wheel just doing what we are told and when. Believe me when I say that down the road it does get better and you will find and grasp at all the ways you are able to take control. Sending peaceful thoughts your way.