Thursday, 22 May 2014

That Pesky Wire...

2 weeks ago all of my 6 months appointments aligned. (*Ah the life of a Darwinian Fail*). I met with my GP, my cardio team, and the breast cancer clinic.

I had been feeling good, so I was expecting these visits to be rather uneventful. And for the most part they were. The only problem is…That Pesky Wire is Back. You know the one – the one that raised the red flag before, and was the first sign of trouble before my last surgery.

The truth is I have known since I drifted off into la-la land before my last surgery, that the whole process was not extremely well thought out. As I was in pre-op, and even up until I was put under for surgery #6 there was a pretty hefty debate happening between plastics and cardio about how to handle the placement of of my pacemaker/wire. And once the swelling sub-sided it was pretty obviously that the team didn't exactly nail it.

The wire was prominent again, although this time on the front of chest just underneath my incision scar. I am still weak on the left side, well over a year later. And when I am fatigued, especially after a long training week, I still experience swelling and tenderness.Things are not perfect, but they are pretty good. I have been training hard, PR-ing races, and generally feeling healthy and happy.

So when I had to meet with my surgeon on Wednesday, I felt that familiar rise in panic. 

We walked through things – there are always a lot of things to walk through when it comes to me. And she decided that while things are not perfect, they are working, for now. My size is really the biggest obstacle here. I am not very big, and there is just a whole bunch of bionic matter jammed in my chest, so it is hard to find room for everything. My robot heart is about the size of Blackberry and then it has 2 sets of wires to boot - so it is kind of cumbersome. I have to go back every 3 months to ensure that things remain status-quo. And like last time, I will know if things start to go awry. 

There was a time in my life where this kind of appointment would have really thrown me. 

But as hard as last year was for me, it was also incredibly freeing. Last year taught me that there are certain things you cannot control. And you do not have to let the fear of "What If" stop you from living the life that you want. Things could change tomorrow, or they could remain just as they are for the next 5 years, either way you can't stop living because something MIGHT happen. 

It has taken me 11 long years to learn this lesson, but I think I have finally come to place where I am at peace with my struggle. The fear no longer consumes me. I know that I am stronger than this diagnosis, and whatever comes next I will persevere and continue to move forward. There will always setbacks, obstacles, and sadness. But in between those battles I am busy living a beautiful life that I am so grateful for.
 I have learned to stop focusing on the "What If's" and started focusing on "What Is".

And right now I happy, I am healthy, and I have a whole lot of living to do.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,