Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
Waiting is very hard. Make a decision. Resolution, please. But to hang in limbo? A door will open, but how I hate the hallway. Yet I need a reminder bop on the head: stop trying to control everything.
Previously, I was set to undergo surgery on March 4 to remove a lung tumor. There I was in the surgery staging area, marked up, lightly sedated, IV in arm, ready to go, but it was cancelled at the last minute because my white blood cell count was under the threshold for safe surgery.
Come back when the counts improve. What an emotional and exhausting roller coaster ride. My poor husband took to his bed the minute we got home.
As of now, I’m waiting for a new date, and I’ve been observing myself. It’s like being in a fitting room, trying on all the platitudes. The time isn’t right. Everything happens for a reason. Be patient. The doctors know best. Mercury is in retrograde. All true, but nothing fits.
Can we keep it real? What’s your reaction to uncertainty? My signature move is to depression-sleep for three days. I hate thinking, “How long will this encapsulated lung tumor continue to behave before it is evicted by scalpel?” My housing authority needs to know. I never thought I’d be muttering, “Really, so cut me already.”
Three things have helped me to return to equilibrium.
First, I give myself permission to feel what I feel. Disappointed, frustrated, angry, scared. That’s right. I felt it right down to my toes. I had lost my buoyancy and sense of humor. Fine, let’s go with that for a while. No need to put on a brave face, so I spent time in my little hidey-hole. Being immersed in my true feelings allowed me to say finally, “OK, now I’m done with that.”
Second, I quit giving life to “what ifs,” which were not limited to my medical condition, but to all the “what ifs” of my commitments. Other options can be found. Planet Earth will keep spinning on its axis without my direct intervention. I’ve always thought in terms of my doing a stellar job, but might it be my personal lesson in ego control? It’s humbling to say out loud, “I’m replaceable.” Say it again, and it’s exhilarating!
Third, discouragement caused me to get unmoored spiritually, but I’m not beating myself up for floating untethered from the mother ship. It happens. I’ve found that unbreakable thread and latched on to it again.
By the time you read this, maybe my lobectomy (not lobotomy!) will be in the rearview mirror. Until then, I take reassurance from the words in Psalm 91:5: “He will cover you in his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
This little chick has found her place again. Thanks for sticking with me.
Email Suzette Martinez Standring at firstname.lastname@example.org.