IntrepidWoman's Journey

Back with the living. . .

Posted on: November 18, 2010

The surgeon was talking statistics today and asked how old I was. Whenever I say my age out loud, it always surprises me and seems such a strange number. How can I be that old? I am almost a senior citizen, but inside this battle-scarred body I am only 20 and know everything and want everything and think I have a long time ahead to make mistakes and change maps.

He said something about 20 years and explained that the surgery was good and I do not need follow-up radiation.  I do not even have to come back to see him as I can now go under the care of the endocrinologist to monitor my thyroid medication and calcium levels. He shakes my hand and smiles and sends me on my way, after a quick snip and a pull to remove stitches. His staff is surprised when I tell her I do not need a follow-up appointment with him. She prints out all the test results to fax to the endocrinologist and when I ask if I can take them to him she says yes.  I come home with several pages of facts about my thyroid which is no longer mine but has been cut up and examined and theorized and ended up in the place where bad body parts end up.

This was my 11th surgery. Most of the cut-ups over the years were to remove body parts, some to repair and three C sections to remove babies who are now incredible adults forging their own paths through life.

This one was after several months of tests and painful biopsies and chronic insomnia, face twitches and emotional rollercoaster rides for what seemed like forever. During this time, I was hard to be around. It was stressful for family, friends and coworkers as I twitched and teared up and yawned and ranted. I was more self-absorbed than usual. I was even tired of being around myself so felt sorry for others too.

Last week I finally had the surgery. My eldest son drove me to the hospital, stayed with me for hours before and hours after, soothing me and making me laugh and keeping my ship pointed in the right direction. Today he asked if he could go in with me to see the surgeon. I appreciated that, especially when the news was all good. Instantly all good. After all those months.

Last week while I waited on the bed after they wheeled me to the hallway outside the operating room, I was surprised at how calm I felt. It was not like the previous surgeries, where I was nervous. They did not put in an IV with sedation meds before the surgery like previous times. I was not drowsy and wanting to be under and done. This time was different. I thought about it this morning when I was driving in a snow storm to go to a clinic for blood work at 6:45 am.

I thought about how we go through our lives and the people in them come and go and change is constant. This morning driving in the storm I realized that people change and come and go and surprise you and let you down and you let them down and it goes on and on like that over your life time. There is one constant and only one. The saying about how we enter this world alone and leave it alone is true, except we are not totally alone.

I have had a companion beside me for as long as I can remember. This higher power or spirit entity that is bigger than humans can imagine is God the Father, our Creator. I have felt His presence since I was a young girl. Religions describe Him and categorize Him and have compartmentalized Him, but I just know Him. He is always there. I sometimes move away from Him, but He never moves away from me. He is always there. He walks with me and I feel His presence during the lowest of times and during the most glorious of times. I cry out to Him in frustration and pain and sometimes I just become quiet and sit with Him.

I was calm waiting for surgery because I knew that He had things handled. There were people praying for me and it did not matter whether I stressed or ranted or worried because He was in charge and knew the outcome. He knows the desires of my heart. They are simple and include being around to watch my grandchildren grow up. I think He is giving me the desires of my heart. If it was my time to leave this world, He would give me strength to deal with that and accept it too.

I am not religious. I do not have much faith in organized religions. They are man-made and involve politics and set rules and conflict with each other in many ways. They often condemn and judge. My God is pure love and is constant. He has walked beside me all these years so that I have never been alone.

For months I have had insomnia due to a thyroid covered with cancer lumpies that was not functioning. I drank soothing teas and read books and paced the room and watched movies all night long and dragged myself into work everyday.

Today I was released from it. My family and close friends have put up with me and stood beside me and my constant companion has held me up and carried me through it all. Tonight I will sleep like the dead, because I am now back with the living.

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