Yesterday, as I lay outside the surgical theatre, I could hear the music inside, muffled voices and the preparation of things being moved about. I had requested to not have the pre-op sedation so I was lying on the bed fully conscious. I found my mind wandering as I looked around the small space and all the drawers full of bits and pieces. I gently guided my mind back to checking in. This was a precious time. What was I telling myself? Breathe. Soft belly. What needs were alive in me? Breathe.
The quote from the Ongo book came to mind, ‘Soft belly allows a little more space for us to be mindfully present.’ Given that’s where the anxiety was showing up I invited the belly to soften, to relax. I thought of all the friends and family sending love, holding me with care and I felt nourished and supported. I leaned into my needs for safety, care, trust, calm, peace… and freedom.
Earlier in the admissions area, I was sitting waiting for the blood collector to come and take a blood sample. I could feel my belly unsettled. I stood up and, regardless of people walking past, started to move my body, swaying my hips, stretching from side to side. I was thinking about how I had moved gently with my friend and dancer, Miho, only a few weeks ago. I smiled again.
Feeling the movement, feeling the wobbliness settle and my feet resting on the ground. I felt relieved and grateful that I could move, that I could listen, that I could call in presence. That I had the medical technology that could support my healing journey.
Stepping into the unknown.
My bed was wheeled into the operating theatre and I was greeted by the staff. I could see Rhonda, the surgeon checking her notes. They asked if I could move onto the table myself which I did and they made me comfortable. This was the moment under the lights! The oxygen mask came over my face. A quiet voice reassured me that in a few breaths I would be asleep. I was gone.
After the discovery of a high Inhibin B blood count which indicated the presence of a rare Ovarian cancer, I had signed off that they could take out not only my uterus, ovaries and tubes, but also some lymph nodes and part of my bowel if the cancer had spread.
It was going to be what it was going to be.
Back in the ward, the surgeon came to see me and was very happy to report that the Granalosa cancer cells had been contained and the procedure was able to be done through my belly button! A successful laparoscopy with just three small incisions. That’s a miracle!
I woke this morning and there was a small stream of sunshine across the wall in the ward as the sun rose. I smiled.
So far, it’s been a day of sleeping, meditation and resting, of pain and pain relief, the removal of all the tubes and bits and pieces, a delicious hot shower and a small walk. I feel conscious, tired and deeply grateful.
Thank you for walking with me. Thank you for your prayers, your love and deep care. I feel very nourished and held.
I am Celebrating this Precious Life that is mine to live.