If I am to go under the knife, then Dr Aaron Ndhluni is my choice of surgeon. I’m to be in his hands at the end of the month and without a shadow of a doubt, he is the ONE.
A lumpectomy and the removal of two lymph glands is planned. Some days in hospital will follow and my daughter is already sourcing all of Robert Galbraith’s novels to see me through. “Kindle or paperback?” My answer probably gives my age away. There is just something comforting about holding a real book in my hands. A stay in hospital is a bit like a long haul flight and having to spend five hours in Dubai at some ungodly time. There are only two ways to survive this – sleep or read. (Coffee is a given of course.)
Now that the date has been set, I can plan the next days. Funny. A strange insecurity crept in until that was settled. But the journey is on track and I am ready for phase two. Radiation will be the next step, down the line. I’ll get my head around that when the time comes. The end of the tunnel is clearer again and I can see the light peeping. But I’m not there yet and it’s best to focus on the journey. Am I tempted to look back? After all I’ve come a long way. Yes of course. No, it’s not a good idea to keep my head turned for too long. One step at a time. Right now it’s important for me to keep my body clean and hydrated. Plant based is best. Sugary treats are shelved…for as long as I can hold out. I do love food and there are so many good choices. No excuses will cut it. Archie is my role model where eating is concerned. He comes dashing down the stairs at the first crack of an egg, licks his eagerly and then leaves the rest for Xena. It’s the same with his nightly tidbits. Some fish treats are devoured in a tick. Others are sniffed at, tasted and then left in his bowl. He is a true ‘foodie’ after all.
Do I need new sexy pyjamas? I may have some visitors. A gown is essential. There is nothing worse than being wheeled into a more public area of the hospital in one’s pjs. And a selection of scarves. My hair is slowly making an appearance again, but not enough to warrant showing it off…
I have a little time to process this next step. Mulling over things helps me to clarify where I’m at. The operation is necessary. I would be insane to refuse it. The unwelcome lump has shrunk considerably, which makes things a whole lot easier. Dr Rink’s hypnosis session is safely stored on my phone and the promise of support from family and friends is more helpful than they could possibly imagine.
I’m back in the moment, which is all that there really is and Archie is reminding me of the chicken to be cooked. His meow has a particularly high ring when he smells fowl and his portion will be polished off in a second, as it is his absolute best.