Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Into the Emerald City to See A Wizard

I rode the ferry today, what a treat to be out on the water on a beautiful crisp Fall day.

Destination Emerald City.

It was a peaceful ride in.  I sat down below and the lower deck was empty, leaving me to my thoughts and daydreams.  As we made our way across the bay, I was thinking about all the angels that have blessed my life since my diagnosis.  So many of em, arriving right on time for me, every step of the way when I needed a hand to hold, a kind word, a hug, a prayer, looking straight into my child eyes with a "there there now."

I was feeling a little down and anxious this morning, when I decided to check out the blog of my friend, Wagonwife Designs.  You will find her listed under the blogs I follow.  I knew I would find something beautiful there and I'd feel better.  What a surprise to find her post today about something I had written here that she took to heart.  It made me cry. 

On a morning when I needed comfort, she reminded me that the little pebble I threw into a big big pond, has caused ripples in far away places, before coming home to me again.

I done good in the world and made friends along the way.

It touched something tender and fragile and hopeful in me.  Thank you Lady for your reply.

It was a lovely, smooth ride on the hour long trip, till just past Alcatraz when we hit the wake of a tugboat and it felt as if we bounced the rest of the way into port.  How beautiful the city looked against an indigo sky, dotted with puffy white snowball clouds.  It really does look like a magical city with landmarks like the Pyramid, Coit Tower and sky rises of the Financial District.

The ferry docked at Fisherman's Wharf, loaded a few passengers, then made the short trip down the Embarcadero to the Terminal.  I got off the boat and walked the plank like an old lady as it shifted side to side in choppy water as the next ferry came in.

It wasn't long before Husband pulled up to take me across town to see The Wizard.

As Husband helped me undress to put my exam vest on, I unpinned my drain from my camisole.  It was a great feeling to know it would be the last time I'd have to unpin it, although I was so tense about having the drain removed.

The Wizard was his trademark cheerful self as he walked into the exam room, exclaiming "Are we ready to get that drain out?"

Husband heaved a loud heavy sigh and The Wizard laughed.  "Well from the sound of that sigh, you'd think YOU WERE THE ONE GETTING THE DRAIN OUT!"  He went over and patted poor Husband's shoulder and laughed and shook his hand.

It's not easy being the Husband of a breast cancer patient.  No one knows like him what I have gone through, the pain and the glitches, the fear and the disappointments, the anxiety and the relief.  No one else has had a front row seat to the dramatic changes my body has been asked to endure to fight this disease, with no guarantees.

It's a lot to ask of a person, and really stretches the vows "in sickness and in health" to their limits.  I think about how I looked on our wedding day, and see myself as I am right now.
With all that is hard about this, and there is a lot of it, I think the hardest for him is to stand by, helpless to do a thing, only trusting that the work and expertise of others will heal his wife, the mother of his kids. 

It is a hard hard job added to his overflowing plate.

The Wizard didn't waste any time having me lay back, saying "Ok, you know the drill!"

Yes I do.

"It wasn't so bad last time, was it?"

I smiled.  Not as bad as I thought, he was right.

I took a deep breath in.

This time I hesitated and held my deep breath out.  I knew he was waiting.  I closed my eyes.

I am walking on a beach.  I am collecting sea glass and driftwood.  The air is salty and moist, and the sand under my feet is wet and resistant.  A seagull floats on the breeze just off shore.

I blow the deep breath out as hard as I can so The Wizard can do his noble work for me.

It was out.  It was over.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" He taped me up and then held my arm as he talked to Husband.

"Most of my patients tell me mostly it burns coming out.  I don't know, I've never experienced it, but I think the thought of removing it is worse than actually removing it."

He turned to me, still holding and patting my arm.

"Am I right?" he turns to me and asks.

I smile at him.

He comforts me.

I like him.

Although I will be very happy when this Season is over, I am sad that he will go with it.

He knows it.

"Ok, so when does radiation start?  I think you are good to go.  Now that your drains are out you need to start exercising that arm so you can get it over your head.  I suggest you walk your fingers up the wall and back, and do that several times a day."

He illustrated by holding his arm straight and creeping his fingers up the wall like the eency weency spider.

"I'd like to see you after you've finished radiation, ok?"

I'm gonna miss that man.

Before I knew it, we were headed home, no more foreign objects hanging out of my body.  It's been a long haul.  First with my ports in for almost four months, then my PICC almost a month.  Then my drains following surgery.

It it starting to sink in that I am done with all that.  In treatment almost seven months now.  Sheesh and Holy Jesus.

Now I just need to limber up enough so they can light me up!  Light her up!  Just in time for Christmas!

My body absolutely aches right now, constantly feeling like I'm getting the flu.  I can't wait till I can soak in a hot bubble bath again.  I sure have missed it.

Tomorrow I have the day off  :)  and then I see The Good Witch on Friday.

Oh my goodness.

Wait till she sees my Oompa Loompas!

1 comment:

Beneath the Eaves said...

Your words created BIG ripples for me. I felt like flotsam floating on the ocean most days. Why dream or start something new only to have it ripped out from under me.It was that ripple that turned the tide and brought me to shore. Hang in there sweet lady-you are my Angel. Keep you in my prayers daily.

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