I’ve been wrestling with my feelings lately. Not in a bad way, like struggling with depression or anxiety, but more like trying to sort them out. I’m a bit jumbled. Like, when I try to get my headset out of my storage bag as I ready for a Zoom call and I find the wire knotted up and wrapped around an earpiece. In that moment, it requires my attention to sort it out before I can put it on my head; that’s how I feel at the moment. I’m trying to untangle my feelings. Let me explain.
First, as you read this on Friday, Oct. 30, I am having surgery to remove some pre-cancerous cells from my breast. The surgeon I’m working with is stellar and is very optimistic about my outcome and long-term prognosis of dodging breast cancer. I’ve anticipated this day for a few weeks know. I’ve known about my diagnosis for a few months but I’ve been at ease. I’ve lived through finding out I had a brain tumor and anticipating a craniotomy, so waiting for this surgery has been a breeze. That said, as I write this on the eve of my surgery, my mind is attempting to take me to dark places; trying to stir up old emotions I’ve packed away. I’m going under anesthesia again; I’m going to have a surgery site and will need to recover. Today, I am reminding myself I’ve done this before and will do it again. But, I’m still feeling some trepidation. It’s not a tidal wave coming at me, but that wave is a bit bigger than normal.
To compound matters, I’m having surgery during a pandemic. That point just adds a layer. Going to the doctors requires wearing a mask. Going to pre op requires wearing a mask, but my mask will need to be removed for me to go under anesthesia. That makes me uneasy. However, I need to trust that my medical team will do everything to keep me safe and let that go. I’ve untangled that feeling.
On the matter of the pandemic, cases are rising again. Our country’s leadership is less than leadering, and it causes me angst. I’m anxious about the outcome of our election; okay, so maybe I am grappling with some anxiety.
I scratch my head daily and struggle with my feelings towards the other side. I try to understand it, but in my mind supporting it feels like a lack of morality. This election, and this is just my opinion, has moved far beyond supporting a political platform. It’s a matter of ideology, safety, tolerance, and respect. Herd immunity is not a way to end a pandemic; it’s a way to lead the lambs to slaughter. I fear for the future of our country. That feeling is bit more complicated, but I’m dealing with it.
And, as if my worry over the future of our country wasn’t weighing on me enough, my daughter brought home a puppy last month. Now, don’t get me wrong, Maple (the new pup) is lovely. If you haven’t been introduced, please visit my post Meet Maple. Despite her cuteness overload, that little biscuit has played with my emotions in a way I didn’t think possible.
She’s like a Sourpatch Kid. One minute you’re on the floor playing and she nips you hard, but the next minute she steps back and “sits pretty” and melts your heart. She’s a puppy; her behavior isn’t abnormal. But, I’m conflicted about her because my heart still belongs to Summer, our noble, wise, 16-year-old Bichon who we had to put down in April. Maple now “owns” areas of the house that previously belonged to Summer, such as the back of the couch in our formal living room.
I’m okay with it, but it’s hard to let go and feel like I’m not honoring our old-girl’s memory when I let Maple into Summer’s previous domain. But, then I look at her face and she has no idea who she replaced. She has no idea that my heart still belongs to another. She only wants to be loved, like any dog in this world. She doesn’t understand the emotions of people. She doesn’t know we have a full world outside of hers, because her entire world is us. She only wants one thing in life, to be loved. Her needs are simple, love her and care for her and she will be happy. So, I’ve tried to partition my heart, walling off my Summer area to make room for Maple, because she needs my love.
To cope with the looming election, I’ve tried to let go. I often find myself saying, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change …” and I find peace. And my surgery, I will let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I will try to stay it the moment as I heal, go vote on Tuesday, and cuddle our new pup. The rest will sort itself out. Worry is not a product of the moment, it steals from it. Acceptance if of the moment and is much better for healing.
Epilogue: 10/30/20, 2pm – I’m home from the surgery; it was outpatient. My doctor said it went as well as it could, and she’s very pleased with the outcome. I will get my biopsy results next Friday. In the meantime, I’m resting and cuddling Maple.