So, it seems I have this tiny surgery coming up.
Two surgeries, actually: the one to put in the patch with the radioactive seeds, and the one to take it out. And the first surgery takes place one week from today. I will be going into Duke University Hospital next Wednesday, having Surgery #1, spending my weekend glowing, not from the excitement of the holiday season, but from radiation.. The following Monday they take out the patch and discharge me. On Tuesday I have my post-op appointment. And then I wait a few months to find out if it worked.
I feel very much like I'm on a roller coaster. I don't especially like roller coasters, but I have gone on them, under protest, when my companion was not tall enough to ride without an alleged adult. So I am familiar with the feeling of creaking slowly, up, up, up an incline, preparing in my mind for the precipitous drop, which turns out to be only a little one--so funny! And then just as my stomach is settling back into place, BAM! You round a corner and fall off the edge of the earth. Or so it seems to me. Everyone else is having a perfectly delightful time.
I don't know if anyone is going to have a delightful time on this roller coaster. The kids have known for a few weeks that I have "a growth" in my eye. I used the word "cancer" with them for the first time a few days ago. Their own eyes got big and frightened. I explained that the doctors feel really good about their ability to treat me. I reminded them of all the people we know who have had cancer and are doing fine; some of those had their treatment so long ago the kids didn't even know they'd had cancer. They settled down. Within minutes they stopped treating me like a precious china figurine and started asking when dinner was going to be ready. I would like to keep them there, in the back of the roller coaster car, where they can take their cues about how to react from the riders in front of them.
In front of the car, of course, is me. I will not be able to act like this is fun, but I do have to disguise the rising panic and the distinct sensation that I'm going to throw up at any moment. I will try to convey the impression, as I do on real roller coasters, that this is no big deal. I hate those cameras they have on roller coasters that take a picture of your face when you're dropping, and then the monitors that post the picture at the exit so everyone can see that, despite what you say, you are SO not cool. I'm glad they don't have those things in hospitals. I hope.
One week. This thing is in motion and climbing, and it's too late to get off now. Buckle your seatbelts. Here we go.