Eating Rocks for Breakfast

by NotDownOrOut

On October 11th Mom drove me downtown for my post-surgery follow-up appointment. It turned out that the appointment was meant to take place a week later. Nevertheless, I met with Dr. D and Dr. G. They decided to take out my staples a week early because I was healing so well.

The good news came with bad news, too. The pathology report had come in. The uterine tumor had invaded more than 50% of the depth of the uterine muscle. This was a complication not readily apparent from direct observation of the uterus at the time of my hysterectomy. The cancer also had involved the right fallopian tube and had spread close to the cervix. Dr. D described the cancer as grade one and stage three. He advised me to undergo radiation and chemotherapy as a precaution to reduce the risk cancer might have spread.

This was unexpected news and I could not help but think of Susan’s prediction that I would suffer setbacks because all people in my situation do.

It takes a tough mind to resist replaying a recorded message you do not like. I banished the thought because it was negative.

The doctors stared at me. I was calm. Shouldn’t I try to be, I wondered.

My records were to be transferred to Stroger Hospital because I didn’t have medical insurance to cover this additional care. I walked out feeling that it would be good to go home. By home I meant my place. I had not had access to my computer for more than a week. I needed to do some reading on the subject of cancer. I needed to understand my enemy. Because we will do battle. I am not immortal, but I am tough.

I am reminded of a former client who used to bring me strange legal issues to resolve. She bought the condo from hell. Then she wanted to return a dining room suite that was not returnable. When she asked me to help her overcome the store’s no return policy she admitted that her brother thought it was a lost cause. He had said to her, “How can you ask this woman for help again? She helped you with your condo problems and did not send you a bill. She worked hours and hours on it for no money. Now you would ask her for another favor.”

The former client answered, “Cheryl eats rocks for breakfast. She’ll like the challenge.”

I don’t eat rocks for breakfast. I eat oatmeal.

But I will accept a challenge and do my best to overcome it.

My mom dropped me off at my place. It felt good to be home even if the place showed the effects of my recent illness. I took out the trash by dragging it because I had received orders not to lift more than ten pounds. I took a shower, my first since surgery. I sat at my desk for hours answering emails and catching up with my online class. I felt good. I was anemic for some time prior to surgery. I probably had cancer for ten years. I was filled with the blood of people who donate blood. I had more energy than I had in a long time. I had every reason to believe that all of the cancer has been removed. I am ready to hold onto my status as a cancer survivor.

Nothing and no one can take this battle from me. I have to do this for myself. Whatever it takes, I have the right stuff for this battle. I am a positive person. I have a great team to support me. I have faith that my doctors got all of the cancer.

If I have to eat rocks for breakfast, then I will eat rocks for breakfast. I hear they taste like . . . chicken.