We’re now less than 24 hours to hospital check in. At least as far as I know. Unless another patient has moved ahead of me, I’m first on the schedule for surgery, and my check in I expect to be around 5am.
I had a pretty good night, no tossing and turning like the night before. Woke up around 5am needing to pee, because my blood pressure medicine is a diaretic. The recommendation is to take it in the morning, so you aren’t being awakened in the middle of the night with a need to use the bathroom. I take it at night, as I’d rather be awoken in my own home, and have just a few steps between me and the bathroom. Usually, I fall right back to sleep. Not this morning, obviously. I keep worrying about things that hadn’t occurred to me before – such as, I’m supposed to shower tonight and tomorrow morning, putting on freshly clean clothes each time. It occurred to me – Shit! I need to wash all my bras, will they be dry in time for tomorrow? I should wash my post-operative camisole, will THAT be dry for tomorrow? And damn! I wore the zip up hoodie I planned to wear home on Friday, I need to wash that again.
I get up to use the bathroom, I notice the huge pile in the hamper that I meant to wash all day yesterday, but was frankly just too worn out from the night before when I couldn’t sleep. I go back to bed, to try to recapture sleepiness, and start thinking about the pile of clothes on the bed, and declare again that I must pick up this mess.
I start thinking about how in 18 hours I start another fast, this time with no water, and begin to worry that I didn’t drink enough yesterday, and that I will be dehydrated by the time I check in tomorrow, and the nurses will have a difficult time with my IV.
Last week I was starting my countdown of how much time I had left being a double-breasted woman. I had thoughts like “next Friday will be my last Friday with my right breast.” And so on down the week. This morning, I thought “today is my last day with my right breast” and I started to cry a little. I’m doing it again, but it’s not a big tear fest – it’s just a few tears, for a few seconds, then I’m back to my mental check list, and trying to find my calm so I can go back to sleep. Then in few minutes, I have one thought that doesn’t occurr to me too often – it does come up, but not so often, as I am all about the drama (“They’re going to cut off my breast!”). The thought I have is this: In about 26 hours from right now (unless another patient needs to get into surgery before me) my tumor will be out.
I read somewhere, long ago, that the origin for the word Amazon meant “one breast” or “left breast”. The mythology about those women of legend, the Amazon, was that they removed their right breast in order to use a bow more effectively. So I have this fantastical notion that while I’m checking in with two breasts, one of which is full of cancer, I will be checking out an Amazon tribeswoman.
At a later date, this calls for a fierce new tattoo.