At least once a day, I get a message from someone asking when my surgery will be. And at least once a day I am reminded that I literally have no idea. At least 5 times a day, I think to myself “I wonder when they are going to call me”. And at least 5 times a day I am disappointed when they don’t.
I am impatiently trying my best to be patient.
Yesterday was a bad day. Because yesterday, for whatever reason, I thought would be the day that I found out. Yesterday was the day that I believed, assumed, and hoped that I would finally be able to answer that question to anyone who would ask. But yesterday didn’t go according to plan. And yesterday, I had tell more than one person that I have no idea when my surgery will be. Yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed when my phone didn’t ring by 4:30 when the office had closed for the day.
Have they forgotten about me? Yesterday was the day that I honestly believed that to be true.
Is it the New Year that gave me a little sense of hope for the day? Or the fact that the hustle and bustle of the holidays have now come and gone? Perhaps it was the idea that they could be planning the schedule for the upcoming weeks and that I, for good reason, would be on that list. Maybe I thought that my patience would be rewarded. And that I could welcome the New Year with an idea of when I can get my life back on track. Was it the sweet voicemail that I left? Or the fact that I’ve already been waiting for weeks? I really don’t know.
All I know at this point though is that I want answers and I don’t know when I will be getting them. I know that my patience is wearing as thin as the ice on the ocean right now – and as time that goes by, it’s getting even thinner. I know that living with a brain tumor is terrifying and that the only thing scarier is not knowing when it will be removed. Or, not knowing when I will be on the road to recovery and given the chance to adapt to my ‘new normal’. Not knowing how to plan my week or month or year and not knowing what to expect afterwards. Will I be able to do my same job? Will I look the same? Will I act the same? The unknown is scary no matter what you’re going through.
What I am trying to do now though is trust. Trust that my mom is right when she says “the doctors aren’t going to let anything bad happen to you”. Trust that they remember me and have every intention of helping me as soon as they can. Trust that this tumor is slow growing enough that nothing significant is going to happen in the meantime. And reflect back on the times when trust was all that I had. Like that time I flew to Florida during a hurricane and due to the storm, had to wait in the air for hours until it was safe enough to land. That kind of trust – where you have no control and no choice but to trust that the professional will land the airplane safely when the time is right.
Today was different. Today was a good day. It wasn’t better because I got some good news as soon as I woke up. It was better because I made the choice to make it better. To change my perception and my attitude towards this whole situation. To not be fearful of them not calling me soon, rather – grateful that I have some time to mentally and physically prepare for the big day. I reflected and recognized that I have gone through days that were a lot worse than yesterday and made it through just fine. And by doing this, I found my inner strength that told me to wait just a little bit longer. Somebody told me that this is a test and that I need to pass it in order to move forward. Am I not patient enough already? I guess I won’t know until I need to know – but I know for certain that I will reflect back to this moment and be grateful in some way.
As 4:30 rolled around today I tried not to give it a second thought. I tried my best to enjoy the day and continue on my path of learning how to be more patient. And just when I let go, the phone rang:
“You will be having your surgery in February and the only hold up is trying to coordinate all of the doctors that need to be present that day”.
I think I passed the test. Today was a good day.