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.