This getting ready has been hard on me. I can honestly say I've not been scared of the actual surgery. Well, of HAVING surgery, at least. That has never bothered me. In the past, I've only had gall bladder surgery, right after Laura was born. That and 2 c-sections, which don't count to me because you're not put under. In the pre-op, they'd normally give you Valium to calm the jitters, but because I was nursing, they couldn't. The nurse did bring me 2 Benadryls. "What are these for?" I asked. I knew Benadryl as an antihistamine that has the side effect of making you sleepy. Turns out that's exactly what they were after. It was the nursing mother's Valium. I tried to assure her I was not nervous but gave in and took them anyway. Had me a nice little nap.
So, I'm not scared of surgery per se, but I am bothered by this dividing line in life. I'm scared of how the "after" Barb will function in life. Will I still be able to do all those things that make me "Barb" now? Ranching, running, camping, hiking and the like. I'm scared of being somehow defined by this. Of being Barb-slash-Cancer Survivor, or Barb-slash-Brave Ostomy Patient, or some other Barb-slash-????
I put a photo of myself online this morning. I had captioned it "My last run as a whole Barb." Then I quickly edited to "Last run as this Barb." Then I started running, which for me is always thinking time. And I thought, dang it, I shouldn't have posted any comment! I don't want to whine to you all. I don't want to whine period. So then I started playing you all's comments in my head, because I know you guys. And you didn't disappoint!
And then I had one of those laugh out loud moments like I described back in my 2nd or 3rd blog post. I laughed out loud because in paraphrasing you guys and the much-needed peptalk you'd give me, my brain said this:
Barb, you're so much more than a rectum.
- You're so much more than an ass.
- I take that back. You're such an ass. Well, you can be.
- How will you be able to think? That's where you've always kept your brain.
- Leave me some more funny ones in the comments. I know a few of you will have them.
Thanks for going along on the run and helping me work it through. See you tomorrow on the other side. As someone put it this morning, hello Barb 2.0.