I don’t mean to make light of it; I can’t think of anything scarier than being told you have real cancer, not like the basal cell kind that doesn’t have the sense to move but just kinda sits there. That’s all I have – or had anyway, until Thursday when the nicest surgeon in the world, serene and cool in a sleeveless dove-grey silk dress, cut a three-inch long slit in my leg and took it out. (Giant dressing! who knew?)
I didn’t actually ‘get it’ that I wouldn’t be able to swim for two weeks, or shower. Or allow the area even to get even a little bit wet for 48 hours; that I wouldn’t be able do Zumba or Pilates or yoga, never mind jump on the treadmill or that funny Wave machine that makes you look like a roller-skating baby elephant.
She and the nurse made me lie down flat, Then they draped the area with enough bunting for a Fourth of July bandstand. Then in went the Lidocaine
“How come people don’t bleed more during surgery?”
“Oh there’s some epinephrine in there with the Lidocaine. It constricts bloodflow.”
Subtly tied down or not I did a quick sit-up so I could take a look. Bleedin’ pretty good actually! (this is after all the cleanup.)
I flopped back down fast but not so fast that she didn’t see the look on my face.
“So what would you be doing on a day like this if you weren’t coming here?” she asked cheerily, to distract me from the business at hand.
My answer made reference to the fact that even now in America it is almost exclusively we women who act as caregivers to our elderly. “So much for equality there!” I said.
“I hear that! she cried. “I almost lost my mind over the fact that before we were married my man couldn’t manage a simple RSVP !”
I sighed happily and lay back on the table. There’s nothing that relaxes us women more than a nice little session complaining about our husbands. I mean heck, cancers come and go but the sisterhood you have with you always. 🙂