I love the expression, hurry up and wait. This has been what I have done for the last two years dealing with Cancer and it’s consequences. When I first saw my PCP that fateful day in May 2011 and she immediately got on the phone to get me a mammogram, that was the hurry part, then came the WAIT. The mammogram was done and then there was the wait…someone had to look at it…then I had to wait until the next day until someone else had to look at it and confirm what the first person saw. Then the regular biopsy, MRI biopsy, CT scan, surgeries, hurry, wait, hurry, wait, hurry, wait. It’s amazing we stay sane at all with all of these ups and downs and worries.
The whole experience has been like this — the first visit to the surgeon…we need to do surgery…but you can go to Japan first because it’s probably taken 5-10 years for the cancer to get to this point so surgery can wait. Then when I refused to have my lymph nodes removed the surgeon said, well now you have to wait for surgery and do chemo first. I would hurry to my chemo appointments and have to sit and wait. See the oncologist…sit and wait. The nurses giving me chemo never made me wait, they knew, they understood, let’s get this going and over with.
Now I want to hurry, I want to hurry and start PT, I want to hurry and get a sleeve on my arm, I want to hurry before it gets worse and my sub-clinical turns into clinical lymphedema. But I have to wait for the appointments and the measurements and the therapist to call the sleeve maker and then I can get the sleeve. I don’t want to wish time away, but there is an urgency to all of this, the urgency of being without the tumor, the urgency of getting through chemo, radiation, the urgency of getting the surgeries over with and recovering, the urgency of being healthy again, the urgency of wanting to be done and move on, the urgency of never knowing what tomorrow will bring but wanting to spend it the best way possible. Whatever that means. Like everything else in life, I just need to wait.
My grandson keeps asking his Mom, when will it be my birthday I can’t wait…she tells him when the trees all have green leaves on them, the flowers are in bloom and the weather gets really warm (July). He can’t wait for his birthday, he wants it to hurry up, for the present, the party, the cake? Why should he have to wait? I have had to wait for the painful, the uncomfortable, the disgusting, the depressing, the unnerving, why should he have to wait for the fun and the happy?
Maybe I should just make him a cake and give him a present now because who knows what tomorrow brings while we hurry up and wait.