The to-do lists

The title says lists, plural, because I’m a realist and have never figured out how to willfully deceive myself. Other people I have no problem willfully deceiving, but myself, not so much. I have a list of what I want to get done, and another for what I will probably get done.

The countdown is on to my surgery. Yikes. One week from today, I will be at the hospital. Yikes. Reconstruction is a much-anticipated thing for most breast cancer patients. It means getting your body back (in a new, sometimes improved form). It is voluntary and scheduled whereas a mastectomy is required and imminent. It is symbolic of having made it, having endured, having gotten through the worst part. It is also scary, for sure. I don’t recall being scared before the mastectomy in May. Maybe I was, but have blocked it out. Now that I’ve seen photos of other mastectomies and have a better understanding of how the procedure is actually performed I certainly could be scared, but being scared after the fact isn’t very effective.

I’m guessing I don’t recall being scared about that surgery because things moved very fast (3 weeks from diagnosis to being wheeled into the OR); I was wrapping my head around the fact that I had been diagnosed with cancer at the tender age of 40 and with two young kids at home; and there were a ton of things to do to prepare. Not just the battery of tests, but the nesting. That nesting really should be an Olympic sport. I know I’d have to beat out some OCD pregnant women, but I think I could bring home the gold. 

I’m not nesting this time around. I’d maybe only get the bronze. And it would probably be a bit of a pity vote. I just haven’t been putting in enough time flitting around the house, cleaning out closets, organizing the pantry and re-folding every blanket in the linen closet.

Since becoming a repeat customer at the hospital, I know what’s in store form me next week: the scratchy sheets, the one-size-fits-someone-giant gowns, the smell, the noise, the yucky food, the parade of nurses in & out of the room, the abundance of tape stuck to my body, the JP drains, the pain, the nausea, the lack of peace & quiet.

Ok, maybe I’m not scared but annoyed. I’m not so good at sitting still and being dependent. And I have a lot of that coming up. So I distract myself by making to-do lists. It makes me feel better. There’s something very satisfying about setting goals and crossing things off the list.

Things I want to accomplish before surgery:
(insert long list here)

Things I will actually get done: play a lot of tennis.

Now that’s a good list.


4 Comments on “The to-do lists”

  1. Amy H. says:

    There’s an app for listmaking…..just sayin’

  2. Ed says:

    I choke-laughed on my coffee reading the line “Other people I have no problem willfully deceiving”. Good stuff! Also misread the picture of a to do list. I thought is said “get list quick” and only realized when I was done that it says “get lit quick”. Now that’s my kind of to do list! Focus on enjoying this last week and live on the court. You can nest and clean when you’re home trying to hurry your recovery and doing too much.

  3. nancyspoint says:

    Love you blog! Good title too! You and I have been experiencing some of the same stuff. I’ll be back to read more soon.

  4. Michelle says:

    Hey – we will be in surgery on the same day! I am going in to put in my chemo port on March 3rd. Exactly one month after the bilateral mastectomy.

    You’re right about this being something to look forward to where the mastectomy was a completely different level of excitement.

    I can’t wait to hear about how it all went for you🙂
    Michelle


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