Cancer cells are present in our bodies in increasing numbers as we grow older. But our immune systems usually zap them and there is no problem. We count on that, we figure we will be among the greater percentage who are cancer-free. If it doesn't work that way, we might believe our bodies have betrayed us, or we had lived incorrectly and caused our cancer. Bad mixture, betrayal and guilt. For awhile, waiting my for my surgery date, I was in that place - feeling guilty for what I might have done to cause it, yet feeling betrayed by my body for no justifiable reason.
I had two weeks to prepare for hospitalization and surgery. I cancelled my plane tickets, hotel reservations, workshops, plans to visit with friends and relatives. I would not be leaving Germany for the States this summer. I tried to organize my home, but didn't manage. I appointed a medical power of attorney, and a general power of attorney. I made a Will. (As DOD civilians living overseas - we know we have to do these things.) I watched MASH from the beginning to the end. Eleven years of Comfort TV, watching from my good bed every night until I fell asleep.
July 15, I checked into the Frauenklinik. I was beginning a journey that, strangely, did not frighten me as much as I expected it would.