I love flowers. All colours, all species, scented or unscented. It makes me happy when I see buds on the plants outside the window because I know in a short time the garden will be awash with blooms. I was lucky enough to receive some beautiful flowers recently so the house is surrounded by blossoms inside and out. Flowers buoy my spirits simply by looking serene and picture-perfect, the work of Mother Nature at her very best. If they smell nice that’s a bonus and the bouquets in the house smell delicious.
Though I am far from picture-perfect (and definitely not delicious) I remain reasonably tranquil, so much so that the newly qualified nurse who carried out my pre-op assessment was amazed at my lack of concern regarding tomorrow’s surgery. She was a nice person, kind and empathic. She frowned about my experiences, they corrupted her sense of right and wrong. This happens to too many good people she said. I reminded her cancer doesn’t stop to consider whether you’re good, bad or indifferent, it just happens and we have to get on with it. My way of dealing with it has been to generate some space, a gap between the me who exists today and the me who went through all that crap. The little distance I’ve created – as much as a completely different life, 4″ scar, bad joints, skin, nails and hair allow – is enough to categorise that as past. She was inspired by my positivity and resolve. I smiled. I never had any other choice.
She asked if I was worried about another operation… how did I feel about a further invasion of femininity after enduring numerous procedures, major surgery and follow-up treatment for months on end. I smiled again and laughed. At this point she might have considered I was a little insane, shrugging my shoulders like an unruly child who is yet to gain a sense of mortality and would pay it no heed when she did. No, I am not worried and I won’t be a quivering wreck in the morning. After all the things that have happened there’s nothing much left to fear.
I know I should probably be just a tiny bit concerned. Reason tells me so because there are always risks with general anaesthetic, infection and such. Surgery doesn’t bother me though – like breathing it will happen and I’ll know nothing much about it. As for femininity, it doesn’t feature as highly on my list of priorities as avoiding cancer, keeping clear of more chemo, or facing an imminent death. With those things on my priority list femininity gets demoted into the ‘nice to have but not essential’ category. I always knew there’d come a point in my life when my aptitude for logic and unerring pragmatism would prove useful. Looks like I’ve finally found it.