Whenever I have looked directly at this thing, I have been totally calm. Cancer. Surgery. Radioactive Iodine. ‘S all good.

But when concentrating on something else, sometimes I have been temporarily seized by an internal tornado of butterflies–or more often, the sensation of ice-water pouring through my veins. My subconscious isn’t listening, apparently, and when my conscious mind stops supervising, the natural man creeps out. I nearly  had a panic attack three times this week, just out of the blue, and had to examine why I was having this physical reaction to something I’d pushed aside, mentally.

Makes me think I should have gone into psychology. It’s a fascinating thing. I’ve had some crazy, crazy thoughts.

But at any rate, yesterday’s surgery went well, I’m told. Although, it was a bit disconcerting when I first checked in, and the second question the receptionist asked was whether or not I have a living will. Followed by “Here, we’re going to give you four shots of radioactive dye, and we’re going to use this Geiger counter during surgery to track where it goes, so we know what to take out.”

I went under shortly before 11am and woke up at 2:30, although I pretended to be out for a while longer: general anesthesia felt lovely. Although, I did keep seeing strange things, like one of my first period students walking around in scrubs, impersonating a doctor. So maybe I wasn’t pretending after all? Had similar hallucinations all the way home.

I was made to solemnly swear not to drive a motor vehicle or shower for 48 hours post-op, so I stayed home today, though I think I would have been fine. I can’t really talk, but I still have my teacher evil-eye down pretty solid. As it is, I just cranked out a lot of paperwork that’s been piling up around here, so it wasn’t a total waste.

I’ve got three sites I haven’t been brave enough to pull bandages off yet, but the publicly visible one–above my right wrist, has a bandage only about 4 inches long, so it’s significantly smaller than the first doc recommended. Within the next week or so, I should hear back if we got clean margins and clear lymph nodes, and if so, we’ll be done with it. Meanwhile I kind of wish I had Geiger counter of my own. There’s got to be something fun a person can do while radioactive. Yes?

3 responses to “Radioactive

  • takeintime

    Kimber- I have been so glad to see you blogging again! You are such a good writer and beautifully articulate your feelings.

    Most people do one of two things when they receive the big C diagnosis; they ignore it and blithely go about their business, or absolutely obsess over it to the point of paralysis. You are one of the few I have known to successfully integrate the illness without losing grip of your sanity, remaining balanced and focused. I know that you are most likely experiencing all the emotions that go hand in hand with a diagnosis that has the potential to drastically change or even take your life, but to the outside observer you are coping with grace and faith.

    Hang in there and know we are praying for your recovery and that you will have peace and comfort.

    PS- I absolutely love that wonderful feeling of well being that anesthesia brings. Makes me know I would too quickly become a drug addict if I ever tried it just once!!

  • Mandy

    I love to read your posts. I love how you use your words. I often wish when I sit down to write a post that I had the gift of words like you do and some times I think to myself “how would Kimber write this”…but I only ever get as far as thinking that thought for I can never come up with anything so clever.

  • Flamingo Dancer

    When I was going through my eye journey, I used to think Damn you God, why me? It was only years later that I realised that hey it could have been worse than it was, and I was still here with one good eye, but also that these things happen to people every hour of the day. If it happens then why wouldn’t it happen to me? Anger gone. Acceptance came, not that I wouldn’t change things if I could.

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