ONE MORE DAY IN THE EMERALD CITY
In October I had my first hospital stay since diagnosis and really since having my children. It is very sobering to be in the hospital and realize that this is my new normal. Lots of thoughts coursed through my brain. Is this it? Will I get to go home again? Even though it was a cellulitis and rationally it was not even close to the end, I had no frame of reference for being sick and what the prognosis and progression of symptoms would be at that moment. Some of it was just hysteria and anxiety. However, as I lay there day by day I had many thoughts. Good and bad. Each day I would ask can I go home. The answer was "No, let's wait one more day." The song in my head from Wicked would begin, "One short day in the emerald city....Sparrow's color is green so this fits well. So wander and enjoy I shall.
I pretended to be in a hotel. I took many walks in the hall to stay strong and busy. I took crazy picture next to art pretending I was not stuck. I went to the beach, the forest and up north to the waterfalls. I wondered if I went to the lobby and ordered a Starbucks if I could charge it to my room. I prayed a lot for healing, for strength and I pretended it was all good. I was cool, this was no biggie but on the inside I was terrified. The staff was wonderful and I had a private room so I can not complain about my care. I was woke up a bit more than I liked but I was fairly low maintenance so I was left to my own devices. The only thing that got me is during the hand off. When one nurse shift ends and the next begins they give report in your room so you can be a part of it. Every time they said "stage 4 breast cancer with mets in liver and spine." They looked so sad at me, like a sense of pity. Every time I was like HEY my scans show NEAD. I am not dead yet and really not truly actively dying, at the moment. Attitude is everything. Report should be said with positive intention. I don't need pity or negative vibes bringing me down. I share so if you are a health professional try to be compassionate but positive. I would have preferred a tone of ambivalence over pity.
After 5 days I walked out of there on my own two feet, no transport and no wheelchair. I am a bad ass and if I end up in the hospital again. I can do it again. This is my new normal. I am Wicked Strong! As Elphaba said, "I think it is time to defy gravity. You can't pull me down."