Surgery was scheduled for 7:00 a.m., which doesn’t sound horrible until you factor in a 5:00 a.m. arrival time and a 90 minute commute. It was a night of no sleep and we were out the door by 3:30 — after I took a shower and applied mascara! I’m not sure why I wanted to wear mascara, but at the time, it seemed like a priority.
My friend, Brook, came up with the brilliant idea of starting 12 games of Words With Friends to distract me from Ed’s scary driving over Highway 17. I think Eddie would say he’s a confident driver who has the road memorized from years of commuting, but I literally can hardly take it and it’s best if I escape with an app on my phone.
We arrived in record time (no traffic plus Ed’s driving) and began our hike to the cancer center in complete darkness. Kind of strange they don’t light up the trek. I would swear it is a 2 mile walk, but it comes up 0.4 miles on map-quest… BUT… that doesn’t include getting to ground level out of the parking garage… so… 2 miles!
SO many people were checking in for surgery. We were all politely trying to race one another to the front desk. Sensitive but determined. Hah!
Ed wasn’t allowed to come back with me for the initial prep, which is totally great because he definitely doesn’t need to be there for the weigh-in! I couldn’t believe how many beds were lined up down the narrow room— probably 25 on each side, separated by only a thin drape which meant that while Ed wasn’t hearing how much I weigh, everyone else was.
The nurse began obsessing on my wedding ring because I could not take it off (ties in with the not-wanting-Ed-to-know-my-weight comment). She also was fascinated by my diagnosis of Lynch Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that greatly increases the chance of developing colon cancer.
I just now googled Lynch Syndrome to get the exact definition and I can’t believe what a textbook case I am. It says that people with Lynch may have:
- Colon cancer before age 45 (I was 44)
- A family history of colon cancer (for SURE)
- A family history of endometrial (uterine) cancer (check and CHECK: it’s in my family AND I had it)
- A 40 percent chance of developing a second primary colon cancer within 7 years of the first.
IT’S BEEN EXACTLY 7 YEARS!
I am in shock.
I should have stopped reading there!
It goes on to list the other cancers people with Lynch Syndrome get.
Pause for a freak-out moment.
I’ve heard all of this before— had genetic counseling— and then life went on. But, realizing I’m a classic case following the script to a tee is quite disconcerting.
(My freak-out moment is interrupting my originally scheduled post!)
What does knowing all this really change?
What do I choose to set as the backdrop of my life?
(These next few sentences are greatly influenced by my cousin Ron and also Ann Voskamp.)
Picture seeing a play in a theater. The theater itself is just a room. Possibly cold, dark and ugly, BUT… the backdrop dictates what you are seeing.
I am choosing to view my life through the backdrop of:
God is always good and I am always loved.
Everything in my life is set against those premises. And… the backdrop always remains unchanged. It’s an outlook of gratitude knowing Jesus is walking with me.
Well, I’m completely off my original script of writing about the surgery.
So… more to come about that day, Ed’s driving, and my need to lose weight! Hah! Way too dramatic over here!