Last night I dreamed the people I cared for the most had vanished and, worse, that a couple of them had sided with whatever dark thing was stalking me.
I seldom remember my dreams, but this one left me unsettled. I have surgery tomorrow at six in the morning and do not need the bad presentiments brought on by nightmares. I ascribe it to the procedure which has been delayed twice and, I fear, may bring bad news.
As Michael Scott once said, I am not superstitious, but I am a little stitious. When I awoke I could feel my heart beating a serious drum roll inside my chest. I got out of bed, walked around the apartment, drank a cup of tea, and visualized—as I often do—the good cells wearing white cowboy hats and routing the black-hatted cancer cells. Sometimes I imagine the good cells stampeding the bad ones into a mile-deep canyon.
This will be the 14th or 15th surgery; I have frankly lost count. I know what I am supposed to do tonight and tomorrow morning. The pre-op ritual. I’m acquainted with the full medical team almost by first name, the nurses, administrators, aides and counselors and anesthesiologists. I know exactly how the procedure will occur, the number of times I will be asked my name and age, the location of the vein they’ll find on the back of my hand for the IVs, the feel of the hospital bed as it is rolled into the operating theater. I know the chemo treatments I’ll undergo afterwards, how long the pain will last, and which drugs I can and cannot take. What I do not know is what the good surgeon will find.
I’ve been told that chronicling my bouts with cancer is self-indulgent. This may be true, but I don’t really care. It helps me, and if it helps the white hats—which I think it may—I’ll keep writing.