Helena’s Cancer Diary – Part IV

I must confess, in the three-week waiting period before surgery, there were times fear ran away with my thoughts. I work at being a positive person and seeing the good in life, people and circumstances, but, sometimes …

“What if they cut me open and close me up again; and then, when I wake up, they tell me to go home and get my affairs in order?” Yes, that thought crossed my mind more than once during those three weeks. Totally illogical – with breast cancer surgery, I don’t think the doctors even see any other organs! Extremely unlikely – the primary cancer lump was so small it couldn’t even be felt during a breast exam.

But the word “cancer” has such a negative aura about it that sometimes fear trumps logic.

Then, only four days prior to the operation, I had a rare quiet morning at home and went for a walk in the woods of our shelterbelt. The snow was falling and there wasn’t a sound to be heard beyond the panting of my canine companions.

In the peace, silence and solitude, I found myself in the presence of God and uplifted.

After the cancer diagnosis was confirmed, I had immediately kicked my daily sugar/chocolate habit. It’s embarrassing to admit that I was up to two and sometimes even three chocolate bars a day, along with the occasional pop. Yet somehow I just stopped, and didn’t even find it very difficult.

I couldn’t say I never have a treat anymore. I had dessert at a church potluck, and when a friend came for dinner, I had a small piece of cheesecake. Back to moderation, which I was, and am, satisfied with.

So, in the woods, I thought about all the excess sugar I was no longer ingesting. I thought about the post-surgery instructions suggesting starting exercise by walking, gradually increasing the length of the walks. I thought about how wonderful it is walking in our woods and how little I had been doing it lately. And I actually started to look forward to my recovery time!

And for the first time, I really felt in my heart, as opposed to understanding in my head, that yes, this cancer has been caught very early. Although it is causing a blip in my life, perhaps it is being sent as a wake-up call and now I had the chance to start doing some important things a little differently and make my life even better than it already is.

Of course, I was still not looking forward to the actual hospital procedures and their immediate aftermath but I was confident about the future and looking forward to some downtime, daily walks and the 10-plus books I had gathered for some fun reading time.

My walk in the woods, the chance to have some peace and quiet and listen to my soul, sent me to Saskatoon City Hospital with a positive mindset.